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8th August 2021

Campaign Update - 8th August 2021

Laura Farris’s Lack of Response

Supporters of Say NO to Thatcham NE Development (2500 houses in the countryside) have written to our MP Laura Farris, some of them more than a month ago.  All have been raising their concerns about West Berkshire Council Local Draft plan to build 2500 homes on local green space adjacent to the AONB.  The AONB is home to a number of protected species of wildlife and the impact of building so many houses so close to the AONB will cause irreparable damage to all manner of flora and fauna, many of which are at serious risk of harm from such large-scale development. We all want our MP to address our concerns but as of today, we are not aware that she has been responding to your personal letters. If you have been lucky enough to have received a response from Ms Farris, please let us know but as the rest of us wait for a response from her, we might ponder… 

Bucklebury Parish Council 8th August 2021

Is she using pigeon post? or has her pen run out? Perhaps the expense of envelopes and stamps are beyond her budget? or too busy leading a different project.

“The Best Pub in West Berks”??

Bucklebury Parish Council 8th August 2021

It would be very good to know what OUR MP’s opinion is on the Planning Bill?

Some in the Conservative ranks are revolting as they act to reflect the concerns of their constituents about the large scale developments taking place in their areas.  Labour MPs are increasingly vocal about the donations made by developers to the Conservative Party and all in all, it’s a hot topic in Westminster.  Subtle signals of discomfort from Conservative MPs have apparently been heard by the Housing Minister and what has been described as the “planning wheel of doom” may have induced our own MP to become brave and voice what she really thinks about this proposed development in NE Thatcham.  We don’t know if she’s found her voice during the debates in Parliamentary corridors but for the moment, we’d be happy to know she’s found her pen and paper to let us know she’s hearing us.

When and where is the public meeting taking place as promised?

Laura Farris said she was going to challenge the number of houses WBC was being asked to deliver - given the amount of land lost to AONB, AWE, flood plain and existing development. Add to this the comment about needing to 'level up’ the country rather than continue to push up the number of houses in the south-east, and we have a line of discussion very much in need of a response.

According to the Parliament website:

“What should I do if my MP hasn’t answered my email/letter?

MPs receive a large amount of correspondence, so cannot always reply immediately. If you haven’t heard back from them after about two weeks, you should follow up your email or letter with a phone call, or make an appointment to go and see them at their local surgery.”

Ms Farris last held a Constituency Surgery within the immediately affected area of this proposed development at the Frank Hutchings Hall, Thatcham on the 19th June 2021, which she only announced would be taking place on the 14thJune 2021.  It was not widely advertised and many of us may have missed the opportunity to go and see her.  We are not suggesting we should all call her, but if you’ve not had a response and she’s not holding a surgery any time soon (we are not aware of any imminent plans for her to hold a surgery here in Bucklebury, are you?), then calling her, or writing to her repeatedly until you get a response is about all we can do. A stamped addressed envelope might get you a speedier response.

As a post script for this week:

Ms Farris’ website states “Climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation and a core concern to my constituents. I will: Support local communities to develop effective flood prevention schemes.”

She might offer up some thoughts on the kind of support will she be offering the local community of Thatcham who are worried about the increased flooding risk associated with this development at NE Thatcham.

If you are opposed to the West Berks Local Plan Review TH20 please request to join Say NO to Thatcham NE Development

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

The Working Group