Sunday, December 05 2010 @ 05:31 PM GMT
Contributed by: pjlyn
Things to bear in mind when answering the Basingstoke & Deane Consultation Document
DON'T FORGET EVERY MEMBER OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD CAN HAVE THEIR SAY
- EACH EXTRA RESPONSE COUNTS!
First of all – The questionnaire is a request from our council for our opinions on new homes in our area.
THIS IS OUR OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE OUR OPINIONS RECORDED. If we don’t respond, the council will assume that those that do respond are they only people who have an opinion. We can be sure that the house builder, estate agents and land owners will return their forms!
How do I get the form?
The best place is the Basingstoke and Deane Today magazine as this has space for you to provide reasons for the “too much development” option;
The questionnaire is a mixture of multiple choice and free format boxes – this can lead to some anomalies and unintended consequences when the data is collated and presented to our councillors, who ultimately, make the choices on new housing on our behalf.
Just because it is presented as a questionnaire don’t feel constrained by the format – it is not a tax return or voting form, there are no spoilt papers.
If you don’t like the choices provided, make your own ones. Don’t feel because they are asking for a box to be ticked that you have to provide an answer – you won’t lose any marks.
We at SOLVE thought it would be helpful to give you some things to bear in mind about certain questions as they are presented:
Q2 - If you think new homes are needed in the borough for the needs of Basingstoke but not in Basing, Lychpit, Newnham or Chineham this is not the question to answer yes to – that one comes later.
- If you answer Yes, but there are things that make it difficult to develop in my area, your answer will potentially be taken as all that is stopping housing going ahead.
Q3 - This question should be linked to Q2, but it isn’t. When they collate the answers, even if you answered no houses needed in Q2, if you were to tick for instance “Larger family homes” in Q3, they will count that as a vote for Larger family homes to be built in your area.
- You may feel that you would like to move within your local area, but no suitable houses have become available – this is more likely to be because of market circumstances, than shortage. Think of the buoyant market we had previously.
- This question asks for multiple ticks, each tick is a vote for more houses to be built in our local area. We would suggest using the Other types box, to write no new houses, if that was how you answered Q2, to even the votes.
Q4 - This question is a good opportunity to recommend brown field sites and un-picturesque scrub land, in your local area, that would be improved by development. It is almost certain that some new houses will be required.
Q5 - We would ask, when answering this, that you bear in mind that this question, in a questionnaire about new homes, is not about asking how the council should spend all the new money that the government has found in our booming economy to give away! Councils use facilities, as a trade, in negotiating planning permission with house builders. So, the more things we ask for, the more we are giving our councillors permission to make this trade on our behalf.
Q6 - Basingstoke & Deane has been one of the fastest growth areas in the whole country in terms of housing over the past five years – in fact our council has built more houses than central government asked it to in the South East plan.
Q7 - This question, would appear to be designed to justify the factors that the government process requires them to take in to account when determining housing numbers. It is much easier to tick one of their boxes, than to think of other things that should be taken into account. We would suggest that the other factors box is used to say “no destruction of countryside”; “capacity of the road infrastructure”; “capacity of the sewage system”
Q8 - This question does not offer building on brown field sites or rezoning of commercial and industrial land into housing. We feel this is unfortunate, since many people avoid entering text in the boxes and it is therefore likely to skew the result to towards building on green field sites.
Q9 - In this question you are asked to tick 3 boxes in the most and 3 in the least categories. Be careful this is a statistical trick. If you think, for instance, that saving our countryside is the most important factor it will only count as 1/3 of your vote, if you add two other ticks, since there is no weighting or ranking.