Date Published: 16 March 2018
Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council
A lot of people, understandably, are concerned about growth. They are concerned about the number of new homes that are planned and whether local services can cope. People are worried that too much development could spoil our unique heritage.
I have a lot of sympathy for that view because we are lucky to live in such an amazing place. A first time visitor to the county said to me the other day that he felt Rutland was an “undiscovered” version of the Cotswolds.
As a council, we will never take what we have for granted, but we owe it to people who live here and future generations to plan properly for the future.
We want to make sure that our sons and daughters can continue to live in Rutland as well as ensuring that we have the investment that we need for our public services.
If we don’t plan properly we risk losing what we have – we risk losing village schools because there aren’t enough young parents moving into the county as well as other services such as vital transport links.
We risk seeing a decline in our town centres because there aren’t enough customers in the week to sustain them.
Encouraging controlled and sensible growth is, in many ways, about protecting and preserving what we already have.
It’s about encouraging more businesses to move to the county and helping existing ones grow.
It’s about, not just maintaining public services, which is getting harder with austerity, but investing in new ones such as nurseries, schools, health centres and transport improvements.
And it’s about making sure that when new homes are built as many of those as possible are affordable which will help our sons and daughters continue to live in Rutland.
Ultimately controlled and sensible growth benefits us all.