I would like to continue the overwhelming theme of your ‘Letters to the Editor’ in recent weeks by first of all, personally thanking nearly 300 residents of Swanwick who attended the public meeting at 2nd Swanwick Centenary Centre. This meeting was held in response to my letter to Swanwick Parish Council regarding my concerns over potential sites identified by Amber Valley Borough Council for building more homes in the village, on Greenbelt land. Not only was the centre full but many residents stood outside in the rain – for over an hour to listen to the meeting, as it had to be relayed outside to them.
I spoke at length during the meeting and was supported by all the residents and many who made important contributions also to the representative of Amber Valley Borough Council who attended.
Not one person spoke in favour of the identified potential sites, but even so the council representative appeared to be ‘blinkered’ in acknowledging the depth and strength of feeling of the meeting and insisted on pursuing their consultation period to its conclusion.
Can I urge Swanwick residents and indeed all those in Amber Valley affected by such similar proposals, to continue inundating the local authority with letters of objection, especially in respect of Swanwick whose consultation period ends on 30th September, 2011. Communities like Swanwick, across Amber Valley, cannot and should not standby and allow the Coalition Government, whose current draft National Policy Framework document or ‘Localism Bill’ as it is better known, which will allow local authorities like Amber Valley the power to grant landowners/developers planning permission on virtually any type of land, including Greenbelt and greenfield sites.
We cannot allow such short term policies of central government to succeed in order to create a couple of percentage points of economic growth, which will result in catastrophic long term consequences to the countryside. I urge you once again, not to be complacent, if you are ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ will be lost forever.
John G Briggs