I attended a recent meeting at Kimberley Town Hall. The first thing that was evident was that the overwhelming majority didn’t know about the housing allocation for Kimberley in the Core Strategy until that night. The consultation as been called into question on many fronts. first the initial form that was sent out in the junk mail, that was missed by the majority of residents, then the form itself. Having met with the Minister for Planning, Nick Boles, there were concerns raised by him over complicated language used within the form that most people wouldn’t understand, he himself self said this was a matter of concern. Secondly some for their ability to keep this, the biggest and most important topic, out of the public eye. There has been little or no inclusion for the residents to have an input, in my view. In doing so, full advantage has been takenof the public’s apathy and naivety. We know, having tried to keep this in the public eye, that when we speak to people in our every day lives they are first surprised then shocked when it is revealed to them that some town and borourgh councillors are in support and in favour to build 600 houses in Kimberley. The Kimberley Residents’ Association, which is opposed to the number of houses proposed, have, over the last six months, called several public meeting’s and also compiled, with the help of a planning expert, a statement of objection that as been submitted to the planning inspectorate.This was a detailed and sound objection, based on law and practicalities. At the Kimberley Town Council meeting, which was highlighted in the Advertiser by the residents’ association, several of the public who attended were called nimbys. I found this incredible. The Kimberley Residents’ Association will continue to fight against the 25% increase in housing for Kimberley, although the whole process of consultation look’s to have been an expensive PR exercise. Given that Kimberley seems to have been marked out as the area to receive the largest amount of social housing on scale and the natural evolutionary balance is set to be disrupted and the social solidarity that as taken decades to evolve and take root, a new ‘Clone Town’ will emerge to replace the community’s sense of place. There’s an old saying round these parts: “you get what you vote for”!
Kimberley Residents’ Association