Residents’ views on the proposed South Desborough housing development are being ignored and aren’t being treated democratically, according to a Burton Latimer town councillor.
UKIP Cllr Sam Watts recently attended a Desborough Town Council meeting to highlight a petition against the plans, which has attracted more than 600 signatures.
However, Cllr Watts says at the start of the meeting it was made clear that Desborough councillors would not be permitted to comment on the proposed development, citing that it may have a detrimental effect on the outcome of any applicable planning process.
The plans have drawn a lot of criticism – and Cllr Watts feels it is unfair that elected councillors are unable to voice the worries of the community.
He said: “The meeting itself was well attended with the majority voicing concerns about the proposed housing development and its impact on the area which not only serves as a hub for various species of wildlife but is effectively a flood plain.
“People have grown tired of planning consultations or neighbourhood plans which are ultimately ignored or skewed to fit a series of tick box requirements that end up with the wishes of Kettering Council going ahead regardless.
“The fact of the matter is that while people do need affordable homes it should not be at the expense of our countryside, our wildlife, our local history, our infrastructure or our public services.
“To have limits put on the freedom of individual opinion and speech in respect of any matter goes against democracy – the people of Desborough have a right to hear what their elected councillors have to say on the matter.
“The people of Desborough deserve better, those who oppose the development in South Desborough are not alone.
“As a borough we need to elect councillors that are not afraid to stand up and fight for their communities even if that means going against political pressure enforced by those in higher tiers of the political spectrum.
“The voting public are watching you Desborough Town Council.
“Will you now do the right thing?”
Desborough Town Council has been asked for a comment.
To view the petition, click here.