SIR – As with all government proclamations, the devil will always be in the detail and your July 11 article covering the proposed radical changes to the planning system – allowing developers to proceed on brownfield sites without the need for formal planning permission – is a case in point.
The headline photograph for your article shows the most recent Berkeley Homes scheme in Sidbury, itself an unfortunate addition to the city townscape, yet one which the committee allowed.
Just imagine what might have been, had the developer not even required that scrutiny.
By all means encourage the redevelopment of brownfield land (something which has been at least token policy since the 1960s and before) – but without local scrutiny and community involvement the consequences have every potential to be catastrophic.
The city council needs to be mindful of these measures and very aware that unchecked development only offers a very short-term gain and it will be our children and grandchildren who will have to live and cope with the consequences.


Why can’t we find cash for refugees?
SIR – It was reported in the Worcester News that Councillor Liz Eyre accused supporters of a bid to house Syrian refugees of “ignoring the expense involved” (July 9).
Last November, Worcestershire County Council announced the appointment of a Director of Commercial and Change on a salary of £117,571.
On July 10, Tom Edwards reported that Worcestershire County Council’s bill for temporary agency workers has risen from £5.2 million to £7.6 million during the last three years. And yet the county council cannot find money to house a few refugees.
Worcester Green Party

Village play area is undergoing upgrade
SIR -I would like to just set right a little confusion that has appeared in the letters section recently. Mr Simon Sutton was naturally horrified when he thought the council were removing Middleton Gardens play area. However the truth of the matter is that the play area has been temporarily closed to allow for a £16,000 upgrade and renovation of that site.
It’s scope will bring new equipment to include swings, a multi-purpose play tower with slide, rope ladder, fireman’s pole and many other lovely things for the local children to enjoy.
This is just part of this administration’s ongoing commitment to investing in play areas across the city, unlike the previous Labour administration who cut thousands of pounds from this area during their year in power, as well as ripping out a popular Warndon Villages play area in Howcroft Green without warning to the correct ward councillors. One of my campaign pledges for Warndon Parish North was for the upgrade and preservation of play areas, so I am delighted to support this ongoing investment.
It is vital that all children have a safe place to play outdoors and this will ensure that they can do so for years to come.
Cllr Alan Feeney
Warndon Parish North

Hunting ban does not need to be repealed
SIR – I fail to see any justification for change in the fox-hunting laws.
The argument raised by some Conservative MPs, including our own, is that the Hunting Act is a poor piece of legislation which cannot be enforced. This is false, as the Ministry of Justice’s own figures show the Act has produced the highest rate of convictions (378 people, representing a conviction rate of 64 per cent) of all of the UK’s wild mammal legislation.
The claim that fox-hunting is required for pest control is untrue. Since the introduction of the act studies have shown that the fox population has remained stable, as during the Foot and Mouth crisis of 2001 when hunting was banned.
The claim that foxes are pests is itself dubious, as DEFRA’s own figures show that 95 per cent of lamb deaths are due to causes such as disease and stillbirth. Studies of free-range chicken farms have produced even lower percentages of deaths that can be attributed to foxes.
The majority of the public is against fox-hunting, regarding it as simple animal cruelty and an archaic practice that belongs firmly in the past. Our MPs should surely represent the views of the majority of people and not those of a small community which wants to engage legally in cruelty to wildlife.
Worcester Green Party

Feminists’ own view on equality
SIR – Cameron has swallowed the constant misleading allegations by feminist groups, of the alleged gender pay gap, and is now acting to address it.
One wonders what craziness will follow...parity for men in our so-called ‘family courts’? Not likely, since feminists have no interest in equality that doesn’t give them advantage. A dose of Orwell’s Animal Farm anyone?

It’s madness just trying to cross road
SIR – I cannot afford a car, Dave Bradley (Worcester News, July 4), so don’t know “the real pain” of driving nowadays. I reckon most motorists today are raving mad! (try crossing a road). Whoosh!!