Debate

Negotiations with Hull over Hedon Aerodrome land?

IN the post general election atmosphere then we seem to have had an outbreak of ‘friendliness’ between the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council.

Hedon HullThe leaders of both councils, Councillor Stephen Parnaby and Councillor Stephen Brady, have had an initial meeting to discuss ways in which the two authorities can work more closely together in the future.

Cllr. Parnaby for the East Riding has ruled out any administrative changes to the boundaries of the East Riding in respect of the result of the boundary referendum last year, but has expressed a desire to work with Hull City Council on measures to grow the regional economy.

While this new spirit is prompted by Government policies on promoting greater devolution to regions, it does beg the question of how far these discussions will go particularly in relation to issues locally.

Hull City Council has expressed a long-standing interest in developing the land it owns between Hull and Hedon at the old Hedon Aerodrome site, with previous plans considered for housing there, and a current but stalled proposal to develop an eco park on the site. This year (2015) the Hull Council has supported hydraulic testing at the site and will use favourable results to back its case for ‘housing and employment development’ at the site.

There is local hostility to building on that site and any ‘narrowing of the gap’ between Hull and Hedon. That position is reflected in the East Riding’s Local Plan which should determine planning policy up until 2029. But politics is the art and practice of forming alliances and strategies to achieve a particular goal; policy therefore is not necessarily always set in stone!

Hedon Town Council had an interesting albeit short exchange of ideas at its meeting last Thursday (28th May 2015) about opening up a dialogue with Hull City Council over the Aerodrome land. The current acrimonious stance, if maintained, it was argued, just might lead to plans for the site being agreed over the heads of local decision makers and Hedon could end up with something on that site that was undesirable to the local population.

The issue of opening up a dialogue formally with Hull Council is to be a subject of a fuller discussion later this month at Hedon Town Council. Remarkably, as was gleaned at the Hedon Hustings during the general election campaign, Hedon Town Council has never met formally and directly with Hull City Council.

Whilst some town council members and local residents will have reservations and doubts about opening negotiations with what some see as our predatory neighbour, in the context of a wider thawing of relations between the East Riding and Hull Council then not to open the doors to dialogue, just might leave Hedon locked out of important discussions? Yes, it takes two to tango – but we have nothing to lose by learning the steps!

We will bring you information on that ‘fuller discussion’ at Hedon Town Council as the information is published.  In consideration that the aerodrome land is actually in the parish of Preston, an invite is to be issued to Preston Parish Council to send members to sit in on this ‘fuller discussion’.

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