Written evidence from Finham Residents
Association (ARSS 46)|
Finham is an area on the south side of Coventry adjoining
the Warwickshire border. Our Association represents the 1,900
houses in the area and has a membership of 80% of all residents.
We submit our summarised views on the RSS below.
We have submitted additional information to Mr Eric Pickles MP
regarding our views on our wider experience gained from the Coventry
Core Strategy and have contrasted both with the more positive
experience of the Highways Authority's public enquiry regarding
the A45/A46 Coventry Toll Bar Junction.
Our experience of the Regional Spatial Strategy stems
from attending the Public examination on June 4 2009 at Molineux.
National bodies such as the CPRE put forward strong and valid
arguments against the proposals and these represented the wide
public concern. Local council representatives also voiced concern
over the excessive proposals for new dwellings. The subsequent
Report did not reflect these concerns and indeed were contrary
to the views expressed at the Enquiry. Many of the legitimate
concerns and evidence given were not reflected in the final Report.
It was disturbing to witness the extent and time
invested with developers (and their professional advisors) in
contrast to the little afforded to the general public, who in
the long term will be the most affected by the outcomes. More
time and additional support should have been invested in realistic
Public Consultation in order for members of the public to appreciate
what was being proposed and the processes involved so they contribute
more effectively. Much of the money that was spent in meeting
with Stakeholders and producing glossy documents should have been
used to explain to the public exactly what was proposed in clear
and precise terms that could be understood by everyone. The use
of acronyms in Reports sets up a barrier between those who know
what they mean and the general public.
The financial implications of RSS process should
not be used to justify the retention of any of its conclusions
in the future. We feel that the Government proposals to scrap
the RSS process are a welcome move but would add that the RSS
findings and Reports should also be scrapped.
There are two main lessons to be learnt from the
1. Although the financial costs are regrettable,
it should initiate the development of more appropriate and effective
procedures in the future which are more likely to result in greater
public involvement, understanding and acceptance.
2. Not to automatically accept statements made
by small groups of Council members as fact and then to subsequently
carry these forward without reappraisal and alteration when necessary.