Tuesday, 19 January 2010

"Cheltenham under attack"

Jonathon Porritt was busy defending Cheltenham from the big planners last night - those wanting to bring on the Regional Spatial Strategy and dump unsustainable quantities of new housing onto the town in what they term "Sustainable urban extensions".

He was on good form. The numbers had emerged after "multiple meddling" by Government at every stage of the RSS development process. The challenge, he said, with any new housing development was to achieve a genuine "sustainability", such that, "as you uttered the word, you didn't trip up over your own despicable hypocrisy." What chance was there, at this point in time, that Government was going to provide the infrastructure needed for any substantial new housing development?

Senior politicians, he observed, have no difficulty these days in talking about climate change, and "even possibly with some sincerity," but they exhibit deep discomfort about going over to a truly sustainable low growth economy.

Last night, despite the thaw, Jonathon wasn't looking quite as summery as in this photograph - taken at last June's Cheltenham Science Festival.

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