I listened intently to Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council's (BDBC) Development Control Committee when they considered the Outline Planning Application for the above development on 8 July, all two and a half hours of it.

This is a single planning application seeking outline planning permission for the largest development in the borough under the current Local Plan.

Yet, of the twelve councillors present - there as borough representatives, not just for their ward - five didn't appear to have any comments to make at all apart from giving their voting intentions at the end and four ended up abstaining in the vote to approve/not approve.

They seemed not to have to give any reason for their abstention whether or not they had contributed to the discussions prior to the vote.

This may be totally acceptable procedurally within local government regulations but to a member of the public, viewing so called democracy from afar, how can it be right that on a development with such massive implications for so much of and so many in the borough such a large number of councillors can consider it appropriate to say nothing and or abstain in the vote?

If a committee of the borough council is tasked to consider and give a decision on such a huge development with widespread impact on so many aspects of life in this area should the electorate not expect that all twelve members of that committee should have something to contribute to the discussions?

Interesting topics on the many implications from the development were raised by BDBC councillors not on the committee, with limited time allowances to speak, and by members of the general public but still only a few committee members made comments in response.

From a very disappointed member of the public.

Brian Langer, Overton