This week and next, Arun Council are holding a Select Committee enquiry into the Ford Eco Town proposals. In the normal scheme of Planning Applications, local authorities get to make decisions about their local area. The government give them targets, but local democracy decides where to build and why. For the Eco Towns though, the Government are not following this process. They have issued a shortlist and they will decide the outcome. With no time for the normal democratic process.
So Arun are trying their best to do what they would normally have several months to do - hold a planning enquiry. And that is happening this week and next. CAFE has been allowed to submit written evidence to the enquiry and to speak at certain points as particular issues are discussed. Clearly the developers will be doing the same, as are other interested groups.
Sadly I'm not there this week - though I wrote a paper on the employment aspects of the proposals (for an Eco Town to work, the people need to work locally - not live in some vast dormitory and commute miles to work elsewhere).
I'll post something up here when I hear how it is going - though if anyone knows more sooner, do let us know!