Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Save Birds Marsh Wood
A leaflet has just dropped through my door - it's designed to look as if it came from the council. A community newsletter it says, telling me of an exciting new development of family homes and affordable housing. It has pictures of nearby Birds Marsh Wood, bluebells in spring sunlight - the proposals will improve its ecological value and protect it for continued recreational blah, blah, blah...
And it's all bollocks. Or at least it's not what it purports to be. For the leaflet, carefully worded and printed in council green, is actually from the North Chippenham Consortium - which is actually, Barratt Developments Persimmon Homes and Heron Land Developments - which are profit seeking companies that don't give a stuff about our local environment and think it's acceptable to con us into thinking otherwise.
Birds Marsh, by the way, is a small unspoilt area of mixed woodland, surrounded by fields and for hundreds of years loved by the locals - it's one of those spots that's very ordinariness is what makes it special. It's also a County Wildlife site and has a friends society to help keep it that way.
What chance do we have to make sensible planning decisions, taking reasonable account of wildlife and the natural environment, when we are faced with blatant propaganda? It's not that the proposed development is entirely without its merits - we do need to build homes and I'm generally not a NIMBY in outlook. But I massively object to what are effectively lies by omission - the leaflet reeks of deception, of a lack of true care and of all those values that that will happily see our natural assets diminished if it means their own are increased.
The Consortium concludes by saying, We want to hear what you think. You'll not be surprised that from one blogger at least, they're going to get what they wished for - and very loud and clear, it will be too.