Beware of secretive Master Plans! In Swanley recently I met with residents who were rightly concerned that the Grade 2 agricultural land next to them would be over-run with housing. We discussed the seasonal workers who came and picked the crops, the impact on domestic food security when our farmland is lost forever, and how Brexit might well make matters worse.
In the weeks following this meeting we have already seen food prices rise, farmers and food processors complain that overseas workers are now more reluctant to come to Kent to harvest, and general uncertainty over how Brexit is likely to affect all our futures.
And Now Sevenoaks is going to have its own Master Plans. Whether it’s Brexit or plans for local development, we need full democratic scrutiny and oversight, or else we will end up having to live with unintended consequences for future generations from hasty decisions made behind closed doors that should have been subject to a system of checks and balances and wider public consultation.
Dr Alan Bullion
Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Sevenoaks and Swanley