How to make an objection, effectively

Date: 27/07/2021:
At this pre planning application stage, the only way to object is to make a comment directly to the developers within their website, or a reply to the hard copy form if you were lucky enough to receive one through the post.

The developers website Watermill Bridge has been produced with a short timescale of 24th July to 20th August 2021 for the public to make their voices known. Listed conveniently within the summer holidays at a time when the legal COVID restrictions are lifted, this may mean that some ‘miss’ the chance to object.

The developers are using their website and a few posted forms to act as their public engagement and with little feedback the box of ‘no significant public objection’ will be ticked. This is something that must not happen, if you are not happy for this development……..stand up, and SAY NO.

Consider your response….carefully.

Firstly you must recognise that the way the questions are worded is biased to push you into making helpful comments for the developer’s case.

Q1 is playing on your natural instincts to support such warm statements.

Either do not answer it at all or say something like “there is no need for any new community to be formed on the River Enborne so the question is irrelevant”.

Anything else may give the impression that you support the principle of there being an estate of houses built.

Q2 Similarly either do not answer it or say something like “ I do not wish to see any community/estate built on that site, so the question is irrelevant”

Q3 Preferably leave this blank but if you feel compelled to answer here you may address some specific issues, predicated on your opposition such as:

  • Your masterplan is fundamentally flawed and does not consider the impacts on local services in Hampshire and Newbury
  • Your masterplan fails to address the increased flood risks to properties in Enborne Row
  • Your masterplan fails to consider the increased flood risks over the coming years of climate change, which may make your proposed homes uninsurable
  • Any other points regarding wildlife, loss of amenity

Q4 You can amplify the same themes of Q3

There is little point in saying things like “I do not want this on my doorstep”, or “it will spoil my view” as we have no meaningful rights to object on those grounds.

You could say that it makes the Newbury community boundary reach at least as far as the bypass by infilling a current green space (it is not greenbelt) and will eventually subsume the villages of Highclere and Woolton Hill into the conurbation.

Please avoid saying things like “the number of houses planned is too high” as the developer is obviously going to go in high, and then they will say “we listened to local opinion and reduced our intentions to more acceptable level”

Remember that their objective is win planning permission, and this Public Consultation exercise is a weapon to them, it is not a fair and balanced analysis or review, it is a tool of their making and under their control, and they will cherry pick responses and repeat them in their planning application documents to show how “responsible” and “responsive” they are.

DO NOT LET THEM WIN THE CONSULTATION GAME BY GIVING THEM CARELESSLY WORDED COMMENTS WHICH CAN BE TWISTED AND MISUSED!

It is highly unlikely that they will publish a full list of all the comments received as that would defeat their purpose. So if you do respond, it would be helpful if we received a copy of what you said, so that we can publish an alternative selection of comments to try to rebut their interpretation. So PLEASE CLICK THE BUTTON that says “Send me a copy of my responses” and forward that copy to us  at KeepWWR@gmail.com so that we can collate them.

We will comply with all relevant GDPR rules in the manner in which handle those comments and by forwarding them to us, you are acknowledging that fact.