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Conservatives may have an effect on Hatchfield plans.

Byline: Tony Elves

A CHANGE of government this spring could have a major bearing on whether Lord Derby's controversial Hatchfield Farm development plan would go ahead, it was made clear yesterday by the shadow secretary of state for communities and local government, writes Tony Elves.

Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, explained: "On entering office, a Conservative government would move straight away to scrap the whole bureaucratic tier of regional planning, relieving Forest Heath District Council of the need to comply with the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy.

"Local councils should be free to determine the most sustainable level of development in their local area, and we need a local funding system for councils which encourages that local choice and local accountability."

The Hatchfield Farm proposal for 1,200 new homes is being considered by a government inspector, with FHDC due to announce a decision next month.

If approved, within the context of the East of England Plan which sets out the need for councils to deliver more affordable housing, work could commence towards the end of 2011. Spelman has met Rachel Hood and members of Tattersalls, who are vehemently opposed to the Hatchfield Farm project.

Hood, chairwoman of the Save Historic Newmarket Action Group, said: "The regional spatial strategy is inflexible, and out of touch with local needs.We are greatly reassured Caroline Spelman sees it this way."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2010
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