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Ex Combe Haven Valley ZR

Ex Combe Haven Valley ZR

Combe Haven: tranquil no more

HOT’s Zelly Restorick remembers being part of the peaceful protests to prevent the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road being built – and has felt saddened to see the area change from green to grey.

Tranquil valley? Photo Combe Haven Defenders

Tranquil valley? Photo Combe Haven Defenders

Here’s our article, Bexhill Hastings Link Road opens, with the ESCC photos of the launch (a preponderance of white men, it appears), and the one recently sent out by the Combe Haven Defenders: Link road opens, over budget, overdue, unfinished. Don’t mention climate change.

The ESCC press release didn’t seem to mention this part of their trip, so I thought it was worth sharing. Just another perspective.

The CHDs provide another version of the road opening story, seen through different eyes and from behind the handlebars of their bicycles. I remember the places the rebel cyclists are talking about – all gone now. Just like the green spaces in Ore.

Ore green space - going going gone

Ore green space – going going gone

Development delivery

It will be interesting to see if the road delivers what the developers have promised it will: jobs, regeneration, elimination of traffic, increased economy, the lives of the local people being much improved. And if not? Will there be any  consequences or repercussions? I’ve worked in plenty of areas where if an individual or an organisation fails to deliver the promised and agreed outcomes, explanations are needed as to what happened – and recompense paid. Is this how it works in government, locally and nationally?

Protected status

Is nothing sacred? Beyond the developers’ grasp? Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty? Sites of Specific Scientific Interest? National Parks? Wildlife sites? National nature reserves? Ancient woodlands? Combe Haven was declared by ESCC an area of tranquility and remoteness. Not so now.

Map of road building proposals ZR

Map of road building proposals ZR

Empty meaningless words

This was the road building plan for the UK a while ago – and as we have recently seen with fracking, it doesn’t really matter what official status an area has, if there’s something in the land that is wanted – and the people doing the wanting are powerful enough – any protective status is declared meaningless. Empty words.

I guess in these circumstances, one just shifts the rules to suit one’s game plan, makes amendments to the laws, re-writes the relevant policies and procedures, breaks a few promises – and hey presto, one gets to do exactly what one wants with this country. Just how is a citizen expected to react to this?

Concreted Cartoon by ZR

Concreted Cartoon by ZR

CHV Code Collage by ZR

CHV Code Collage by ZR

 

Posted 10:34 Wednesday, Dec 30, 2015 In: Home Ground

4 Comments

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  1. DAR

    We have had a net migration problem since 1994 (source:ONS).It started off then at under 100,000 annually and has increased to the latest annual figure of around 336,000.

    A lot of significant political events happened in the early 90s, particularly the break-up of the USSR and the civil war in Yugoslavia,the end of white supremacy in S.Africa, and the Rwandan conflict, not to mention ongoing problems in the Middle East. All these events started mass migration in our direction – white, as well as black, Africans; Arabs of one ilk or another; Eastern Europeans, and so on.

    All these people coming to our already over-populated island in a short space of time has led to many well-documented pressures on society – including demand for lots of new housing and the infrastructure to support new developments (see on our doorstep!). This has led to loss of green space needed for food security (particularly if we want to minimise intensive farming practices) and preserve recreational amenities. Yes, there are too many empty properties, but absolutely nowhere near enough to accommodate the extra millions who have been arriving on our shores for 20 years or so. Yes, there’s always been inward migration to Britain, but the SCALE we’re seeing now is unprecedented and, I think, unsustainable in the long term unless we’re prepared for a lowering in our quality of life.

    As you rightly point out, there are other issues too regarding resources as well as land: water, energy, landfill, schools, medical services and so on, and these pressures are, indirectly, caused by a rapid rise in population via immigration/asylum. And many “ordinary people”, understandably, are now saying “enough is enough – we’ve done our bit”, and I’m just saying they’ve got a point.

    Comment by DAR — Friday, Jan 1, 2016 @ 12:30

  2. Zelly Restorick

    Hello DAR, Thanks – as always for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to reply. For me, everything is inter-connected – and I don’t agree that over-development and loss of green space can so simply be blamed on immigration. Emigration and immigration are amongst the multiple factors that affect society, of course – the movement of people across the continents, as has always been the case since we first discovered the means to travel. I have heard that we have a population crisis and that we don’t. I wonder whether nature, much more powerful than any of us, will keep things naturally in balance. It makes me sad that we build and build, yet there are empty homes and empty warehouses and all sorts of places, which, with clever innovative and creative design could be made into housing for people, but I’m aware that it’s not as simple as building houses – it’s all the inter-connecting factors, sewage, water, facilities, schooling, etc etc etc. Multiple layers, I feel, DAR. Zelly Restorick

    Comment by Zelly Restorick — Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 @ 13:10

  3. DAR

    I feel I have to re-iterate that all this over-development and loss of green space is, indirectly, the result of out-of-control immigration that has been going on for some 20 years. It’s the root cause. We have a population crisis, folks, and that’s why we are seeing such environmental vandalism up and down the country. It’s time for environmentalists to throw away their ideological blinkers on this issue, but I won’t hold my breath.

    Comment by DAR — Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 @ 12:13

  4. Lucy Locket

    The Hastings Local Plan was recently accepted by Cabinet and one has to question their honesty here. The council accepted recommendations made by the Inspector and there are specific Policies which apply to many situations within the planning processes.

    How wonderful to discover that with a stroke of the pen our planners can persuade our elected councillors that it matters not whether Hollington Valley is obliterated for a road which is not needed and never was part of the plan….hasn’t this council approved more than enough destruction of our wonderful green spaces in this town – when do they propose to halt this vandalism? Who can trust any of them now. Policies mean nothing to them. As the writer of this article states, they are just meaningless words. Shame on them all.

    Comment by Lucy Locket — Wednesday, Dec 30, 2015 @ 14:23

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