Whitwick Action Group is a community-based group active in the Leicestershire area. It campaigns to defend the `Green Wedges`, which, as the name implies, are wedge-shaped areas of farmland dividing a number of Leicestershire villages.
Proposals to build on the land in question have proved emotive and unpopular. Until the recent election, the local authority was faced with targets imposed by central government as to the number of houses to be built in the area. The incoming administration rejected this `top-down` policy in favour of what it calls `Localism`.
Campaigners were therefore surprised to learn that the local authority was still considering building on the `green wedges`. Andrew Bridgen MP (Conservative), a strong supporter of the group, commented that he was "at a loss to understand why this deeply unpopular idea is still on the table" and that if Conservative council leaders approved the scheme "it would be a betrayal of voters." Councillor/Planning Spokesman Matthew Blain (also Conservative) retorted that "Andrew may have promised to save the green wedges as part of his election campaign but this is a decision for the council, which made no such promises."
In the event, the council sensibly deferred making a decision feeling they needed more time to look into the implications of the Localism Bill.
Mr Blain clarified the council`s position, indicating that councillors were `concerned` at the prospect of building on the `wedges` and had asked council officers to look into other options and report back.
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