Green spaces in need of protection

I WAS interested to read the letter from Maureen Jarvis describing the ‘murky trails’ she has encountered in the planning process in last week’s paper.

She is absolutely correct to encourage everybody to get involved in the council’s current consultation about the Local Development Framework.

This may sound like another boring, bureaucratic exercise but it will determine what is built in the town up to 2028 and where it is built. Often in the past development was allowed because the old Borough Plan had allocated the site for development.

The vast majority of the population didn’t know such a plan existed or that they had any right to be involved in its development.

Her argument about poor publicity for the consultation is rather undermined by a quarter page advert doing just this printed beside the letter. Was this deliberate, I wonder.

If this is to be a genuinely meaningful consultation, it is vital that we don’t just leave it to the council to publicise it.

Community groups throughout the town who are concerned about their local area should be organising consultation meetings so that their local residents can find out what’s going on and make sure that their views are considered.

Ore Community Land Trust is organising such a public meeting on March 3 at the Salvation Army Hall in Old London Road to do just that. We have persuaded the senior planning officer to come and explain it. Our specific concern is the Upper Ore Valley (Speckled Wood), but there are similar green spaces across the town which need protection.

If you really don’t want your local green space to become a housing development, it is your duty to make sure a meeting is held in your area and that local residents make their views known. We’ve got until April 27. Don’t sit back and leave it to others, get involved yourself.

RICHARD STREET

Secretary

Ore Community Land Trust