Write to the Secretary of State

Many of you will have attended T&WC Plans Board meeting on Wednesday evening and others of you will have heard or read about the decision on the Station Road superstore application (TWC/2011/0916). Those present left the meeting feeling angry and frustrated by the process and by what appeared to us as a well-orchestrated pre-determined decision. There was a general feeling that several of the members of the majority group were condescending and disrespectful towards the people of Newport and our town.

As a consequence the SNC (Save Newport Campaign) core group are encouraging as many local people and businesses as possible to write to the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government to register our feelings. His address details are as follows: The Rt. Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, House of Commons, LONDON, SW1A 0AA

We believe that a letter in paper copy form delivered through the postal system with have far greater impact than an email.

Some of the things that you may wish to include are:

· We believe the proposed development is contrary to local and national planning policy and if approved may have nationwide implications;

· We believe the decision was pre-determined because of the Council’s land holdings, and a substantial financial gain already included in their 2012/13 budget, from its development. The Plans Board did not properly discuss the application at their meeting, there were no searching questions from majority group members despite a 52 page report and 12 page supplement, and elected members generally made public statements to the audience (they were there to discuss and debate application 0916, not put on a show for the audience);

· We anticipate that the proposed development will take a significant share of existing trade away from the High Street resulting in business closures, job losses, and a derelict high street – the job losses have not be taken into account by the developer or the planning authority);

· The people of Newport care about our town and, in addition to campaigning, we have submitted a bid under the Portas pilot towns initiative to help improve and promote our high street;

· A decline in the high street will almost certainly lead to serious harm to the conservation area of the High Street / St Mary’s street resulting in unnecessary damage to heritage assets

Don’t forget to: (i) include the application reference TWC/2011/0916, and (ii) if possible, also send a copy to Mark Pritchard MP at the same address as the SoS.

Thank you for your continuing support.

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