DEMOCRACY: Legal plan just ignored

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This year we are celebrating 100 years since some women got the vote, but this week has left me wondering what has happened here in Northumberland to democracy.

As with other towns and villages, we as residents of Alnwick and Denwick voted for our Neighbourhood Plan.

But on Tuesday Alnwick Town Council and Northumberland County Council chose to ignore our wishes and passed the plans for the expansion of the new retail park beyond those boundaries.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I am not complaining about new businesses or the expansion of old family businesses, or even about the vibrancy or not of our town centre.

No, it’s more fundamental than that. It is about our local democracy.

I am grateful in many ways to our councillors for their time and commitment on our behalf, but that does not give them the right to ride roughshod over our legally sanctioned plan.

After all, there is more than enough provision within that plan for the expansions to happen.

Did our forebearers fight in vain?

It would seem so in Northumberland.

Dawn McDonald,

Address supplied