We all know how our local Charrette worked, and the general opinion in the community is that although a small part of the Charrette took the community into consideration, it was mainly an expensive PR exercise which has split and divided the surrounding land amongst developers to profit from.
We have still to see the final benefits (if any) of the Lochgelly Charrette and still to feel the full impact that this process will have had in shaping our town, for better or worse.
Lochgelly wasn’t the only town to have a Charrette led by Andres Duany, so what did the other areas experience, do they reflect what happened in our locality or do the other Charrettes differ in experience from Lochgelly?
SNUB (Stop Norwich UrBanisation)
Having had their own Charrette process, the outcome is the destruction of Thorpe’s Woodland to build a new eco-town. We have already experienced Andres Duany lack of consideration for green space in our local community, yet his distaste for green space doesn’t seem to be a concern for him in other areas as well.
As with the Lochgelly Charrette, this was meant to be a public consultation, however the SNUB campaign have uncovered an interesting fact which shows Andres Dunay does not care for public consultations, and also shows the arrogance behind the self proclaimed leader of New Urbanism
Throughout the Charrette, Duany and his team said they were interested in the views of the people who live in Thorpe, and those who neighbour the woods. However earlier this year, in front of an audience of journalists at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge Massachusetts, Duany put forward the case that the planning process needed to be reformed as it has been usurped by the public, and especially by those people who neighbour the site of the proposed development. He argued consultation should not be with the public in general and especially the locals, instead it should consist of a controlled consultation with a selected group of local citizens, he stated that if this isn’t done the process is taken over by “a bunch of little mobs, invited in by idiot public planners.”
The local people of Thorpe are in the process of fighting to save their woodland, and we wish them every success in their venture. If you would like to learn more about SNUB, their efforts, and provide support or feedback to their campaign, please visit their official site at: www.snubcampaign.org.
You can also visit: http://savethorpewoodlands.blogspot.com/ for further information.
Tornagrain in Inverness was also another town (un)lucky enough to be visited by Andres Duany and his New Urbanism team which proposed the building of a new town next to Tornagrain. However, once more this has caused controversy, with one more town claiming that the Charrette was a charade.
Bruce Strachan chairman of Croy and Culloden Moor Community Council has stated that there is widespread opposition to the new town and has also stated some of his concerns;
You find that services tend to lag behind the development…….We want assurances that services will be in place before the houses are built, if not, then people are going to have to travel, putting pressure on roads and other services………The whole thing is just an exaggerated build-up backed by a lot of propaganda by Moray Estates to create something that is not needed……Not one resident was in favour of this development.
So yet again we see even more controversy over the Charrette process, and all to familiar it suggests that although there was a public consultation process, all the opinions of the public were ignored.
Information sourced from:
- Action for Planning Transparency – http://actionforplanningtransparency.blogspot.com
- Inverness Courier – http://www.inverness-courier.co.uk
Can we get a refund?
This has been an expensive process for all towns involved and every town we looked at seem to have the one thing in common; that the Charrette was not a proper public consultation.
With that in mind can we take Andres Duany to a small claims court for a breach of contract, mainly the lack of public consultation that was supposed to be at the centre and main focus of every Charrette held. Probably not because they did hold public meetings, and it was probably written into the original contract that public feedback can be completely ignored.
Charrette or Charade? New Urbanism or International Con? Is Andres Duany laughing all the way to the bank with our public money? You decide.