What is hap­pen­ing to Eng­land’s green and pleas­ant land?

Leek Post & Times - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

AS A res­i­dent of Ash Bank Road, Wer­ring­ton, over­look­ing fields, (un­til re­cently Green Belt land) and 50 me­tres from the backs of houses on Sal­ters Lane, I was deeply shocked to wake up to the sound of chain­saws cut­ting down three ma­jes­tic trees at the backs of the Sal­ters Close houses.

These trees, prob­a­bly 40/70 years old and very much in their prime, have for years been the roost and perch­ing point for large flocks of star­lings, jack­daws, tree and house spar­rows – even the oc­ca­sional tawny owl and greater spot­ted wood­peck­ers.

See­ing these birds has for years given me and I’m sure for many res­i­dents around these group of houses, plea­sure and a lit­tle hope that peo­ple and wildlife can live har­mo­niously to­gether.

Now the trees are gone, turned into logs and pulp. Why? My in­ves­ti­ga­tion and tele­phone calls have re­vealed that the pre­cious green belt land has been sold to a devel­oper “Homes for Eng­land”.

Clearly green cre­den­tials would

ap­pear to be sec­ondary to profit and build­ing con­ve­nience. Surely with the de­signs for the pro­posed 50+ houses on these fields, prob­a­bly not even fully drawn out yet, any devel­oper even re­motely con­cerned with the en­vi­ron­ment, would look at the site, note the ex­ist­ing trees and use them to en­hance the “nat­u­ral beauty” of the de­vel­op­ment.

Know­ing the plans, voted for by some lo­cal coun­cil­lors to build on this green belt land, my hus­band Spencer had writ­ten to the coun­cil ask­ing that if they must build, then at least con­sider sup­port­ing wildlife and bio-di­ver­sity by plant­ing small fast grow­ing trees on the nar­row tongue of land be­tween Ash Bank and Sal­ters Close (these trees have been a nat­u­ral bound­ary). Clearly not even the slight­est con­sid­er­a­tion for the dis­trict coun­cil.

Sadly too, when I tried to talk to some lo­cal res­i­dent of Sal­ters Close -one ex­pressed sad­ness and hor­ror -but one stated that they were glad that they were gone - and as they were only rent­ing, they would sim­ply move if build­ing started. With that at­ti­tude it doesn’t give me a lot of hope for Eng­land’s ‘Green and Pleas­ant land’ and more vi­tally not for my grand­chil­dren. Coun­cil­lor Jean M Hod­getts Wer­ring­ton

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