Aldershot News & Mail : 2020-08-19

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3 NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2020 News Residents ramp up the fight against Esso pipeline plans FRIENDS OF QUEEN “We have requested that the Secretary of State impose a condition to ensure Rushmoor has the final say with regard to the installati­on technique used.” Mr Docherty said the value of Queen Elizabeth Park to the local community cannot be overstated, particular­ly given the recent Covid19 restrictio­ns. He added: “The park is a quiet haven for local residents – particular­ly children - with an array of wildlife and woodland, and has been a source of exploratio­n, education, and enjoyment for generation of local families. “I very much hope that the Secretary of State will share our concerns, and take action to ensure the park is protected.” Esso project executive Tim Sunderland said the company had consulted on the proposals since March 2018, and understood the concerns of the community. He added: “Following consultati­on we committed to using narrow working methods: a maximum of five metres for the above ground stringing area and a maximum of 10 metres for the open cut installati­on. The open cut trench itself will only be one metre wide. “The area we will need to work in is not where the mature trees are well-spaced or provide canopy cover. It’s along the southern boundary where the existing pipeline and path are. This area contains fewer mature trees than the rest of the park and is heavily populated with rhododendr­on.” To join the Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park, visit www.queeneliza­ or email kathryn@ queeneliza­ ELIZABETH PARK GROUP WANT FIRM TO USE ALTERNATIV­E TRENCH TECHNIQUE By STEPHEN LLOYD @FleetNandM RESIDENTS are ramping up the fight to protect their beloved park. Farnboroug­h-based Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park group is delighted with the huge response to its campaign urging people to write to local MP Leo Docherty about Esso’s plan to dig a trench through the park and install an oil pipeline. More than 180 park users described how disruptive they think it would be if Esso’s plans went ahead and why it would be beneficial for the company to drill beneath the park instead of digging a trench. The group says drilling, using a technique known as Horizontal Directiona­l Drilling (HDD), would be quicker and far less damaging to the park’s trees. Local schools also took part in the campaign and, as a token of thanks, Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park are sending a small gift from the park’s famous Fairy Tree to the writers of the first 50 letters received from children. “The incredible number of letters shows strong support in the community for a less invasive approach from Esso,” said Kathryn Stuart, chair for Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park. Leo Docherty MP at Queen Elizabeth Park with Esso representa­tives, pictured alongside local Rushmoor councillor­s, Adrian Newell (third left) and Mike Smith (left) ject can be delivered in a satisfacto­ry way for everyone involved. “I met with Esso’s representa­tives and, although they promised much in the way of mitigation, this had not translated into meaningful commitment­s. “That’s why I wrote a joint letter with Rushmoor Borough Council leader, David Clifford, to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP – who will soon review the Inspectora­te’s final Recommenda­tion Report, and make a decision on the applicatio­n – to ask that he protects Queen Elizabeth Park from any unnecessar­y impacts of the pipeline. large vehicle and equipment compound, which Esso plans to create in the park to support the work for the pipeline to cross the A325, would put another 30 or more trees at risk, and the stringing-out process to lay out the pipeline prior to installati­on would affect at least another 100. Mr Docherty thanked the hundreds of residents who have been in touch about the proposed Southampto­n to London Pipeline Project. He added: “Throughout the applicatio­n process my office, Rushmoor Borough Council and Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park have sought to engage constructi­vely with Esso to ensure the pro- “Residents can’t understand why Esso continue to refuse to use HDD and thereby avoid risk to the trees when they are happy to use it for other sections of the pipeline adjacent to the park. “We are also surprised by Esso’s continued claim that only 30 trees will be removed, when we have shown that their mapping of the park is not accurate with trees marked in the wrong locations. If they don’t know where the trees are, there is no way they can say how many will be removed.” Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park estimates the pipeline trench would cut through the root zones of at least 80 trees. The group adds that a ■ Partner Gilly pays tribute to ‘guiding star’ Mark benefits, Mark chose to live on the streets. He lived in a tent for around five months, Gilly explained, before renting a room in a private property in Wrecclesha­m. As his body had been in the river for so long, a post-mortem examinatio­n has been unable to reveal exactly what happened. Gilly said: “He would never take his own life, he loved life too much. I think he slipped into water, it was very muddy by the water at that time.” She also fears he may have suffered a heart attack as he had been complainin­g of pains. Mark’s funeral was held at Aldershot Crematoriu­m on August 7. published a book called Aldershot’s Canadians. He was writing his second book, Aldershot at War with Hitler, when he went missing. The couple met at Aldershot Military Museum. Gilly said: “I was singing and he heard my voice and said ‘I fell in love with your voice’. He wanted to make music together.” The couple lived together for a number of years in the Bourne area, but antisocial behaviour drove them away. Gilly went on to live in an almshouse in Farnham, but as the couple were not married, Mark was not allowed to live with her. Reluctant to return to council housing and also reluctant to claim that’s one of the things I loved about him, the fact he was so humble. I have never met anybody like him to talk with, to learn from and to share the joy of life with.” Gilly, a writer, teacher and historian, said Mark was “highly intelligen­t” and a “talented sportsman”. He was a multi-linguist and spoke English, German, Spanish and French and studied Greek and Latin. The couple worked together as guides at Farnham Castle and also taught children’s workshops together. Mark studied history and archaeolog­y at Trinity College, the University of Cambridge. Gilly, 69, said THE partner of a man whose body was found in the River Wey in Farnham, more than three months after he was reported missing, has paid tribute to him. Gilly Stewart was partner to 62-year-old Mark Maclay for 29 years and has described him as her “rock, strength and guiding star”. Mark went missing on January 27 and his body was found in the river in Moor Park Lane on May 12. Gilly said: “He was an extraordin­ary and great person. It’s a great loss and he’s so missed around here. “He was a very modest man, never blew his own trumpet. He didn’t have to boast about himself – Gilly and Mark “there wasn’t one question he couldn’t answer” on history. Mark was also an active member of the Aldershot community and PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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