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Ledbury Reporter gets it wrong PDF Print E-mail
Supermarket Debate
Written by John Eager   
Saturday, 18 February 2012 15:28

The sensationalist front page article on this week's Ledbury Reporter 'A real can of worms! Why lizards could undermine plans for supermarket' may help the paper sell a few extra copies this week, but will inevitably damage it long term.

 

Colloquially regarded as the 'Liar' or 'Distorter' it is deliberately misleading articles such as this one, on a topic too important and divisive to trivialise, that emphatically reveals to any serious reader that the Ledbury Reporter is merely a worthless facsimile of accurate and serious journalism.

 

Did writer Gary Bills-Geddes actually read the planner's report? If he had done he should have come to the conclusion that the slow worm habitat is only one of nine reasons why the planners are recommending rejection of Sainsbury's. And as jmccabe rightly states in his response to Mr Bills-Geddes' article, this particular ground for refusal is negotiable, while five others are not. Surely, it is these five that should be the focus of the newspaper's attention.

These are the five grounds that the Ledbury Reporter and Gary Bills-Geddes have chosen to either ignore altogether or only give a passing mention to at the very end of the article - note, no mention of slow worms, streams or buffer zones here:

1. The Local Planning Authority do not consider the submitted sequential assessment to be robust and as such is considered to be contrary to the Central Government advice contained within Policies EC15 and EC17 of Planning Policy Statement 4 and policies S5, TCR1, TCR2 and TCR9 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan 2007.


2. The local planning authority consider that the expenditure capacity and impact assessments forming part of the planning application are not robust and fail to demonstrate that the proposal would not have a significant adverse impact upon the viability and vitality of Ledbury Town Centre contrary to the Central Government advice contained within Policy EC17 of Planning Policy Statement 4 and Policies S5, TCR1, TCR2 and TCR9 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan 2007.


3. Given reason for refusal 2 above, the Local Planning Authority consider that the proposed development would be likely to adversely affect the character of the Ledbury Conservation Area contrary to the Central Government advice contained within Planning Policy Statement 5 and policy S7 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan 2007.


4. The proposal including the petrol filling station, would result in the loss of high quality employment land contrary to the Central Government advice contained within Policy EC2 of Planning Policy Statement 4 and policies S4 and E5 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan 2007.


5. The location of the proposal in an unsustainable location is such that it would increase reliance upon the private motor vehicle contrary to the Central Government advice contained within Planning Policy Statement 1, Planning Policy Statement 4, Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 and policies S1, S5, S6, DR2 and DR3 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan 2007.

[Source: N113052/F - DEMOLITION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION OF A SUPERSTORE CLASS A1 PETROL FILLING STATION, CAR PARKING, BIOMASS BOILER, LANDSCAPING AND ASSOCIATED WORKS AT LAND AT GALEBREAKER HOUSE, LEADON WAY, LEDBURY, HEREFORDSHIRE, HR8 2SS
For: Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd per Turley Associates, 25 Saville Row, London, W1S 2ES]

What should concern regular readers of the Ledbury Reporter is that this is a very deliberate and cynical piece of distortion that goes against good journalistic practice. It may appear common sense, but the placing of themes in an article is essential to how an article is read and understood. This is first year stuff.

Some readers may only take in the headline of an article, glance at the key words or read the first paragraph or two.

The Ledbury Reporter's front page article not only disrespects this council report and the named planning officer, Roland Close; it is a snub to the hard work put into the lobby who oppose the out of town hypermarket, and, more to the point of this article, it insults the intelligence of its own readers and deliberately deceives them.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 March 2012 10:44
 
Comments (2)
Retrograde
2 Tuesday, 21 February 2012 10:51
Michael Lever
The over-protective decision to moderate comments in order to decide whether or not they should published on LP may enable the moderator(s) to avoid any flak of disagreement or contentiousness on LP but subjecting a so-called community portal to censorship before a comment is published (rather than removing it afterwards) will inevitably damage LP long term.
Extraordinary
1 Saturday, 18 February 2012 22:32
Rich Hadley
Well said. Well done!