25/11/2012 Sunday Politics South West


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In the South West: The Government announces plans for more windfarms


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and more power stations and it says Hello. I'm Martyn Oates. Coming up


on the Sunday Politics in the South West. Should these fields in an


Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty be covered with concrete? I'm


joined this week by Stephanie McWilliam, who was UKIP's candidate


in South East Cornwall at the last general election. And Gary Streeter,


the Conservative MP for South West Devon. A welcome both. The most


talked about vote last week took place not in the House of Commons


but a couple of streets away at Church House, where the General


Synod of the Church of England voted not to approve women bishops.


That's despite the fact that almost all the existing male bishops


support the idea. So do a lot of MPs, including our own Ben Bradshaw,


who tried to draw the Prime Minister into the row. Given that


the Church of England is the established Church, will he


consider what this Parliament can do to win sure that the


overwhelming well of members of the Church of England and this country


is respected? I will look carefully at what he says. But the Church has


its own processes and elections, hard for some obviously wonder


stand, and we have to respect individual institutions and their


decisions. Garrett, you are a Christian, do you think Parliament


should intervene? Not really. I am disappointed in the decision and


the Church of England risks making itself relevant in the 21st century


and most it a cannot understand this. Women should be bishops. They


need to reconsider. I don't want the newt Archbishop to get bogged


down with this but I hope you can find a short track to solve this


problem. The Church of England is established Church, created by


Parliament and is ultimately governed by Parliament. There is a


strong legal case? I suppose we could do it, we are sovereign. But


that would render their church in two. I hope they can resolve this


themselves. But I understand those who are against this, the biblical


authority, some poor people should not be a -- some people think women


should ultimately not be bishops. I interpret the scriptures in light


of current culture. It is time to think again. Stephanie, you believe


in the absolute sovereignty of Parliament? Should they not


exercise that? The is a difficult issue. I understand the argument


from 20 years ago, when it was about ordaining women priests. I


did not agree but I could understand what they were coming


from and I do not understand, if you have women priests, why not


bishops? They it was about safeguards. You could still have


people who were only subject to male bishops. But the head of the


Church is the Queen, who is a woman. She is the head of the Church. If


we have women priests and we have a woman as the head of the Church, I


don't understand. But it is a matter for the Church, because the


risk is that she will make a difficult situation a lot worse if


Parliament intervenes. Back to the mainstream politics! On Monday, the


Prime Minister said he was determined to make it easier to


build big infrastructure projects like incinerators, power stations


and windfarms. On Thursday the Government made a clear commitment


to more wind turbines and more nuclear power stations. Here in the


South West, the row over one big energy project is now entering its


third decade. John Danks reports. The people of St Dennis in Cornwall


didn't like the idea of an incinerator being built on their


doorstep. Campaigners challenged the decision to build it, taking


their case to the High Court in London, which found in their favour.


The Secretary of State appealed and the incinerator got the go-ahead.


So has this community's six-year fight come to an end? Not quite.


have not given up, no Sir. Until every stone has been unturned. No


doubt about that. On Tuesday they presented a new independent report


which they claim could make significant savings for the county


and offers a waste solution more reliant on sorting and recycling


than burying or burning. How can they possibly turn a blind eye to


the possible savings of �320 million over 20 years? At the end


of the day, the taxpayer will have something to say about that.


Earlier this week, David Cameron told a CBI conference he would like


to see fewer judicial reviews being granted where big infrastructure


projects were concerned. urgently need to get a group on


this and it will charge more for reviews so people think twice about


time-wasting and instead of giving up as cases up to four bytes of the


cherry, we will cut that in half. The Prime Minister isn't just


talking incinerators. He wants to simplify the planning of large and


sometimes controversial schemes which could include windfarms or


major road projects. The PM says the number of judicial reviews has


tripled in the last decade. Too many, he says, are completely


pointless. One South West solicitor told us the vast majority of last


year's planning judicial reviews ended in failure. 2000, 200 fell


into the other category, including planning and of this, 500 odd cases


got permission to bring their judicial review to the full hearing


and 87 of those decisions were found to be unlawful and were sent


back to the decision maker, who originally made this. But the MP


who backed his constituents fight in St Dennis doesn't want


safeguards in the planning process to be eroded. I have got a real


concern that we are in danger of restricting the community's


legitimate right to raise concerns about the decision-making process


and in many cases, the process can go as wrong as the decision and we


have to be careful that we allow local communities to be able to


mount challenges to decisions that they don't agree with or are


unwelcome. Cornwall Council told us they welcomed the Prime Minister's


proposals to reduce the number of judicial reviews where planning is


involved. In response to the alternative waste proposal, they


said it would take around nine years to form a new waste policy


involving more public consultation and cost around �90 million in


Isn't this trampling over local isn't? This will make no difference


to the planning and the ability to object. It won't change the right


of appeal. David Cameron is simply talking about the next level of


complaint, judicial review and these things have grown in the last


10 years, they are already expensive and we can get one after


another, even if helpless. That is what makes the difference? Not very


often. Even France, F building new railway lines through northern


France, it'll be done in two years. Here, it goes on for decades


because people have the right. France is the most centralised


state in Europe? But you have trains that run on time.


through localism? This isn't about incinerators, this is about high-


speed two. It does not really affect this region. It will affect


big scale projects and we haven't seen the details. Stephanie, you


kept his devoted to look and listen, what about the way the Government


is going about this? Some issues must be decided at a higher level.


Actually, when looking at defence and energy and security, but for


Cornwall, they should be a plan developed by Cornwall Council that


represents the interests of the people. And that force must be


heard. At the moment, we have the solution of localism but what we


have actually got his councillors hampered because they are told by


planning officers that they must accept this and cannot oppose that.


There is no point in them calling to committee for an application in


the wrong case. With incinerators, because that has gone on for so


long, you have complications in the decision-making process, for


example, when my father was on Cornwall Council, they argued about


an incinerator at St Denis. One of the concerns was the amount of road


traffic required to feed that to keep it working efficiently. Along


the way, we now have the incinerators going ahead in


Plymouth in South West Devon. Now, perhaps, there is the argument for


saying, the incinerator, if there must be one, and I don't have a


problem, we don't suppose incinerators Birsay, but it perhaps


should be further west. In 2010 you said you would have local


referendums for things like supermarkets, what about things


like incinerators? Yes. That is a dilemma. Nobody will say yes to an


incinerator and it to power station and lots of people will not say yes


to a wind farm. These things will not be built anywhere? You can get


people choices, you can have alternatives other than saying, we


are not having this. The alternative is, he will have no


energy, you will have no waste- disposal mechanism. That will


convince everybody else but but the people who will get the power


station because it is a planning issue. For energy security, these


things have to happen... National? He would not subject power stations


to this? We are looking at the National Energy security issue,


those decisions have to be taken at a higher level. Just to talk about


energy broadly, we know the broad bones of the Bill and it looks like


energy bills will go up substantially for people to pay for


more wind farms. That is controversial. Is that right?


don't think so, wind farms might already have had their day. In the


sense that we have a lot of them and they are producing a very small


amount of electricity in it renewable terms, a and I would much


prefer to see us investing in wave power and tidal power, offshore.


This could lead the country in that. And of course, some of that when


incentivise those new products but I don't want to see this country


full of wind turbines producing a very small amount of energy.


Government does. I am in the glorious position as a Conservative


backbencher of sometimes been able to criticise my own government.


Well backbenchers continued to put pressure on the Government to


change course? Yes, I don't want to keep a pretty wind farms and the


energy minister agrees. But not his bus? Or the Prime Minister.


should have won the last election outright. That would have been so


much better. You are completely opposed to wind, Stephanie. But you


would like to see more coal-fired power stations? Recording wind


turbines, it isn't about NIMBYs. I don't have a problem. I was on and


favour, initially, free energy... I started looking into that in more


detail and the more it unravels. They don't work. The on the way in


which they are efficient -- they are efficient is in transferring


wealth from the poor to the rich. Can use a wristy be recommending


further reliance on fossil fuels? - - can you seriously. It is running


out. There is plenty of reserves. We are in danger at having a very


serious problem with energy security in a knot too distant


future, particularly if be relied on wind turbines, wet the fact they


disrupt the National Grid, we don't have the infrastructure to cope


with that stop start nature. We have to have the back-up for when


there is no wind or when the wind blows too strongly. And they have


to be stopped because of safety. They don't work on any level. We


need an alternative. And we absolutely are dependent as a


society on cheaper energy, because too many jobs are going abroad.


There is a debate about that but that is another stage. We have to


leave it there. Sticking with planning, Cornwall Council is about


to consider plans for 48,000 new houses over the next 20 years. The


debate, as always, is about whether that's the right number and, if so,


where they are going to be built. As Tamsin Melville has been finding


out, planning applications are already underway in Areas of


Outstanding Natural Beauty. It's a view that would normally put


thousands on the price of a house. But not for the proud owner of this


affordable home in Flushing near Falmouth. Rebecca Bromley grew up


in the village and thought she was going to have to leave. There are


houses for rent in the area, not a massive amount. But for the price


they are renting, it would have been too expensive to stay. We


would have had to move out and move into one of the nearest towns.


is it meant you, being able to stay? Really good, and place.


Because I'm quite close to my family and it is nice and I wanted


my children to grow up where I did. Rebecca's house stands on what was


a so-called rural exception site, an area outside a village boundary


where planning permission wouldn't normally have been given. But with


around 27,000 people on a housing list in Cornwall, the council is


keen for sites like this to be used for affordable homes for local


people. All of this field. Basically, we are at the green


markings. And all of that field. But for Jan Robson in the nearby


village of Mylor Bridge, it's a worrying change. I don't even feel


we are being listened to now. is campaigning against a proposal


for 30 homes on this land opposite her house. As in Flushing, it's


outside the village boundary and in an Area of Outstanding Natural


Beauty. But here, a third would be sold on the open market. We have


got no argument about affordable housing but it would be nice if it


was done in smaller areas and developments and possibly,


hopefully, on brownfield sites rather than beautiful countryside.


Jan questions the accuracy of the council's housing register to


measure real local need. But the councillor in charge of housing in


Cornwall says growth in places like Mylor Bridge is the future. Being


an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty pushes up the house prices


and makes it difficult for local people to get their foot on the


housing ladder and these areas should be targeted. We do need to


deliver. There is in need in the area and people made to address


similar issues across Cornwall in the next 20 years. Cornwall Council


is in the process of finalising its local plan, which sets out how many


houses are needed and where they should be built over the next 20


years. A proposed target of around 48,000 new homes reduces by about


20,000 the figure set by the previous government. Despite this,


Councillor Kaczmarek expects some battles. We have groups of


opponents to housing across Cornwall which are all for it. They


oppose virtually every single housing scheme that has put forward.


Even affordable housing. Back in Flushing, Rebecca says people who


oppose developments like hers need to think again. Every place at the


is, the people against the housing, their house is on a piece of grass


and it is a failed, so I think inevitably it will all change and


things will have to progress and grow so that villages can thrive.


Cornwall's local plan will be decided by councillors in December,


with it due to go out for public consultation in January. Stephanie,


do you question best global number of houses required? Do if it did.


As a parish councillor, I've had a classic example. If we look at the


Housing Minister, we have one figure for the number of households


and the number of homes required and the updated the parish plan and


looked at what was required there. What was required was more open


market family homes for the parish and our property is suitable for


retirement for elderly people. What we have got his every application


is for affordable homes, two bedrooms and above, and one of the


other needs was for a one-bedroom properties. There is no match


between local need, the housing applications coming forward and we


are never going to get on top of this problem of the shortage unless


we deal with demand. It is no good addressing the supply. What you're


saying is, having looked at your manifesto, he seemed to think as a


party that the large amount of this extra housing need is from


immigrants. That is surely not the case in the south-west? We have a


limited amount of correct immigration but we also have a lot


of movement from other parts of the UK because the pressure on housing


there. A an address from Eastern Europe are driving wealthy people


in London to buy homes on the coast in Cornwall? This is what we get


into the problem, when you look at housing, you have issues that are


related that are connected... Interview, is this chain of events


true? No, I don't think emigration is a problem at all. But we do need


more houses in this area and there was a good point in that the plan


for how many houses should be bottom up. The old regional


strategy figures... Is that really what the Coalition is doing? Yes,


because actually there is more power for local the authorities to


come up with their own plans. that putting the thumbscrews on in


a different way? Not at all. I am not aware of that. They his


presumption of sustainable development. In Plymouth and the


South Hams, it is bottom up housing planning to meet the needs which


are clearly on the doorstep. We need more houses and affordable


houses and we jolly well have to get on with this. These figures


will be judged by the Government ultimately? That's right, you must


have control. Some authorities were built no houses at all. As the Hon


Lady just said in that piece. Every house is on a piece of land which


once was a green field. We need houses around the area, I know that


for certain. But the local authorities should determine how


many and where they should go. whether jobs are going to come from


to provide employment for those people. OK. We must leave it there.


Now our regular round-up of the political week in 60 seconds. A


week of flooding havoc. He said the canal was going to go and I said,


you are joking! And the bank just went. Whoosh! But still no deal


between the Government and the insurers to protect householders


beyond next summer. Meanwhile, are the floodgates to NHS regional pay


about to open? MPs from all parties fight on to keep them closed.


Wildlife groups warn that EU money to protect the environment could


soon be lost. The Prime Minister heads to Brussels to try to hold on


to it. As the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset stands down,


Yeovil's MP says the new Police Commissioners should work hard to


make sure they don't lose top performers. And broadband bliss for


Devon and Somerset as the European Commission approves a super-fast


upgrade, just like Cornwall's. This flood deal was promised in June or


July originally. It is getting desperate? It's very important and


it's very complicated and it is desperate. More and more flooding


and the main thing we must do and the Government will do a deal with


insurance companies, I'm sure that will happen. But we must build no


more houses on flood plains and we still have not heard that lesson.


We absolutely... I agree about building and flood plains, why are


we not saying, firstly, brownfield sites must we used before any


agricultural land. Agricultural land isn't only required for food


production, it is also needed to absorb the rainfall. If we shall


have more extreme weather, would be not be better spending the money


that is going into subsidising wind turbines on flood relief schemes


and prevention, on mitigation for any changes. Quickly, wasn't the


idea that Police and Crime Commissioner has should be getting


Chief Constable to apply for their jobs immediately? Yes, each


individual commissioner will do what they think is right in their


locality and if any Chief Constable decides not to apply for the job,


that is a personal choice but over the medium term, this will involve


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