Our green spa­ces un­der threat from num­ber of projects

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

OUR green spa­ces are tremen­dously at­trac­tive and val­ued highly by our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties for recre­ation and re­lax­ation.

With all the pres­sures on such open spa­ces, there has to be vig­i­lance to keep them in good heart, so that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will be able to find the same en­joy­ment in them.

I was very pleased to have the op­por­tu­nity to meet rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Colne Val­ley Park Com­mu­nity In­ter­est Coun­cil (CIC) re­cently, along with my par­lia­men­tary col­league David Gauke MP.

We heard about the ef­fect that ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects may have on the Colne Val­ley.

Planned de­vel­op­ments which will have an im­pact on the coun­try­side to the west of the London conur­ba­tion in­clude phase one of HS2, the pro­posed Slough Freight Ex­change and also the pos­si­bil­ity of a third run­way at Heathrow.

The mes­sage that came through loud and clear was that we must con­sider the cu­mu­la­tive ef­fect that such plans can have as a whole.

The Colne Val­ley Park CIC is a body which en­cour­ages the par­tic­i­pa­tion of a wide range of or­gan­i­sa­tions. As well as com­mu­nity groups and res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tions, there are lo­cal coun­cils, busi­nesses and user groups in­volved as mem­bers. In­di­vid­u­als can also join by go­ing to the Colne Val­ley Park web­site and be­com­ing Friends of the Park.

There are six out­line ob­jec­tives for the Park. The first three are to main­tain the land­scape and en­vi­ron­ment, to safe­guard the coun­try­side and to foster bio­di­ver­sity.

Yet, fol­low­ing on from those aims, there are three more – to pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity of re­lax­ation, to sus­tain the ru­ral econ­omy and to en­cour­age par­tic­i­pa­tion by the com­mu­nity. It is a mu­tu­ally sus­tain­ing re­la­tion­ship. The Colne Val­ley Park has been go­ing strong for half a cen­tury and with the con­tin­u­ing support of peo­ple from the com­mu­nity, I hope it can counter any fu­ture threats and con­tinue to flour­ish over the next fifty years, too.

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