• Achieving an Effective Planning Bill
    The current wording of the proposal does not recognise that sustainable development includes economic considerations. The proposals could give unintended additional emphasis on one of the three aspects of sustainable development, all of which must be considered when taking decisions on future development. In Clause 6 the proposed requirement for assessing economic advantages and disadvantages of developments would cause great difficulty in practical delivery. It would also put at risk 40 years of case law developed under the existing system and could lead to major delays in planning decisions.
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  • Save South Downs National Park
    The South Downs National Park is in under threat from a massive development by Durand Academy. Durand Academy’s proposed new school for 600 teenagers and 86 staff is the size of three superstores with almost the same population as the nearest villages. Its scale is totally inappropriate for such an important area of outstanding natural beauty. What’s at risk? The development will permanently damage the local environment – the night skies, tranquillity, landscape, flora and fauna - which the SDNPA has a statutory duty to preserve and protect. The development is only 60 metres from a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest. What will happen? Durand Academy’s children and teachers will be bussed in and out from London in convoys of coaches down narrow country lanes which are dangerous for such high levels of traffic. The only two approach roads are single track. The school is not accessible by public transport. All people and goods will have to access the site using their own vehicles. Who else is concerned? The Council for the Protection of Rural England and South Downs Society. The National Trust opposes the development saying that it is ‘contrary to the fundamental National Park purpose to conserve the landscape and scenic beauty of the area.’ The National Trust is ‘particularly concerned about the impact of an average of 40 HGV movements per day for an 86 week build period and the impact on highway safety and the amenity of the National Park.’ What about the future? Durand Academy has not demonstrated that it can afford to sustain the project and has significantly underestimated the costs involved. We do not believe the project is workable without significant additional support from taxpayers and fear that we will end up with an abandoned project in the heart of one of the most beautiful areas of Britain which may be the gateway to further development. What do we want? We fully support the proposal to give inner-city children access to the countryside and the best educational opportunities possible but not in this place, not on this scale and not in this way. The 600 teenagers will be confined to a small site with space for only one football pitch and under strict curfew in a development that will cause irreversible harm to the precious environment they are meant to be able to enjoy. The South Downs National Park needs to be protected for all Britain’s children for all generations to come. It is time to say NO. Durand Academy claims that it has support from local people. We need to demonstrate that there is strong public opposition to the proposal. We don’t have much time. Please sign this petition and circulate it to your friends. For further information please see www.woolbedingwithredford-pc.co.uk/home/st-cuthman-s-development “Costs of running ‘Eton of state sector’ hugely unrealistic – West Sussex villagers object to boarding school for inner-city pupils, saying Government has got its sums wrong.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/costs-of-running-eton-of-state-sector-hugely-unrealistic-8585245.html The Independent, 24 April 2013: “National Trust is latest to object to inner city academy’s ‘Eton of state sector’ in West Sussex countryside – Body says site is not suitable for a school with more than 600 pupils.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/national-trust-is-latest-to-object-to-inner-city-academys-eton-of-state-sector-in-west-sussex-countryside-8586432.html?origin=internalSearch The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2013: “The inner city and the village school – Proposals to site a south London boarding school in a leafy Sussex village have divided opinion.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/secondaryeducation/10010485/The-inner-city-and-the-village-school.html The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2013: “Auditors investigate race row school – Plans for state-run boarding school at the centre of a Conservative race row face a Whitehall investigation after an intervention from a Labour MP.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10011449/Auditors-investigate-race-row-school.html The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2013: “Boarding school row: It’s about planning, not race, local insist – Plans to open a new state boarding school for poor children from south London in a rural beauty spot are an “experiment” which will turn the pupils into “political footballs”, a local councilor has claimed.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/secondaryeducation/10009729/Boarding-school-row-Its-about-planning-not-race-locals-insist.html Image of Woolbeding Common © Copyright Chris Gunns and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.
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  • Support Dorset & Hampshire's Offshore Wind Farm
    As you are probably aware; Navitus Bay Wind Park (1) will be located off the Dorset and Hampshire Coasts, to the west of the Isle of Wight, and also visible from Bournemouth, Poole and Swanage. I understand this development could produce the equivalent energy to power 800,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by up to 1,125,000 tonnes per annum. This will be a tremendous contribution to our country's energy needs and carbon reductions. It will also help towards our renewable energy target of 15% which in the past few years has been behind plan and behind the progress rates of many other EU nations (2). I am very concerned however that a small group of local activists are using information that has little to no scientific backing to discredit this development and are creating fears about the impact on tourism and jobs in the area. I would urge you to balance any of their views against the report produced by The University of Edinburgh, presented to a Committee of the Scottish Parliament (3) in which there is clear consensus that there has been no measurable economic impact, either positively or negatively, of wind farms on tourism and concludes that “while some strongly held localised and anecdotal opinion exists, the Committee has seen no empirical evidence which demonstrates that the tourism industry in Scotland will be adversely affected by the deployment of renewable energy projects, particularly onshore and offshore wind” I appreciate the turbines will be visible from the coast on a clear day but believe this to be a small and perfectly acceptable compromise for the benefits delivered. Furthermore, I personally confirm that this development will not any way restrict the frequency or manner in which I enjoy the beach and coastal areas in the effected locations. 1. www.navitusbaywindpark.co.uk 2. http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/reports/doc/com_2013_0175_res_en.pdf 3. www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_EconomyEnergyandTourismCommittee/Reports/eeR-12-07w-r.pdf
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  • Stop Earl's Court Scheme
    At £8 billion, the Earl's Court redevelopment scheme is the largest in the world outside of China. It challenges the Government's committment to the Big Society and Localism and looks set to repeat the mistakes of property speculation that busted the Western economies. The campaign to save the Exhibition Centres, the rail depot and engineering works and the two council estates is on the front line battling to champion democracy and community in the face of rampant prfiteering by tax-havenbed entitiers at the expense of the poor, jobs and our international trade. The petition wording explains further.
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  • Save our fields
    In our village, farmland is under threat by many large developers. They obviously find fields an attractive proposition as they can just clear away the trees and hedges and build and this is more profitable than using brownfield sites however this is NOT the answer. Apart from homes, more importantly we need food that is safe to eat. I am sure this problem is an issue all over England since the government decided it was fine to build on green spaces which have previously been protected. Farmland is not just beneficial for providing food, it also helps with absorbing water and giving space to wildlife all of which assist our own health and well being.
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  • Support the North York Moors Potash Project
    Potash is a vital source of potassium which is an essential nutrient for plant growth that strengthens cell walls, increases disease resistance and aids the absorption of nitrogen and phosphorous. The York Potash Project will mine polyhalite, a unique source of potassium, magnesium, sulphur and calcium, which can play a key role in balanced fertilisation across the world. With growing world populations it is vital for food security that the UK has a long term supply of this mineral. The York Potash deposit is the largest and highest grade deposit in the world and a new, deep mine with infrastructure that is below ground or hidden behind extensive landscaping can set new benchmarks for sensitive development, whilst creating thousands of jobs and giving a major boost to local and national economies.
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    It is much more sensible to convert the wood which will be used in biomass energy generation into wood into everyday useful products like building materials and furniture that can last for tens of years rather than going up in smoke in seconds. Because of the payment of carbon credits, traditional users of this resource are not able to compete fairly. Energy generators are able to pay more than double the price paid by UK manufacturers who traditionally use wood to make their products. This has driven up prices by 60% in the last five years and, inevitably, these costs are passed onto all of us. Wood used in manufacturing ensures carbon is locked in for up to 35 years, then recycled and only then the remaining unusable scrap timber is burnt for heat generation instead of going to landfill sites. Whereas burning trees directly from the forests will release tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere now. Here’s the science: when wood is burnt, C02 is emitted – one tonne of dry wood burnt in a power station will emit 1.8 tonnes of CO2 which goes into the atmosphere. The DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) has ignored these emissions; they argue that the carbon released is offset by the carbon absorbed by the growing forest so they assume that wood used as biomass fuel is a ‘carbon-free asset’. This means that they can completely ignore the very real carbon emitted by the smokestacks of power plants, on the assumption that it is offset by the growth of trees. Unfortunately, this dismisses the fact that forests are already growing and already storing carbon. When the trees are harvested and burnt, that carbon storage is reduced and the carbon that was in the tree is released into the atmosphere. So the energy companies are being paid to increase carbon emissions now. And, to add insult to injury, the environmentally disastrous results of burning wood for energy is subsidised by almost a £1billion a year, with households providing the money for this subsidy via their energy bills – that’s you. If only half of the planning permission applications for biomass power stations are approved, they will have the capacity to consume many times the entire annual UK sustainable timber harvest. This subsidy has the potential to result in many negative outcomes: increased C02, loss of British jobs and manufacturing, unnecessary increased prices of wood-based products and also the possibility of endangering already fragile eco-systems across the world. As the price increases for items such as wood panels, builders may consider plywood instead from sources such as China. This raises more environmental issues as timber from these sources may have come from threatened rain forests and illegal logging. Timber from threatened rainforests in Brazil, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea is used in making plywood and it is still imported into the UK with the WWF estimating that around £712million a year is spent on illegal wood. This year the EU has at least passed a new directive to address this problem but it’s likely to be some time before the legislation is rigorously enforced. Meanwhile, more and more vital habitats for threatened species are being destroyed. So the knock-on effect of the government’s subsidies will have repercussions around the world, not only increasing C02 emissions produced by the energy companies but also indirectly adding further danger to the fragile ecosystem of the world’s dwindling rain forests. It can be stopped.
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  • Public inquiry into handling of the Trump Resort
    Only a full public inquiry can now get to the bottom of this story. We need to know how local and central government dealt with the Trump Organisation, what was offered by whom and when, and we need to establish why planning guidelines and environmental regulations were simply unable to protect our community and the unique environment we live in. Finally, we need to know what changes can be made so the planning system again works like it is supposed to.
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  • Protect Britain's Nesting Birds
    The RSPB have asked the question, "when was the last time you saw a lapwing tumbling through the sky or a heard of turtle doves gently purring as you walked through fields" The loss of 44 Million Nesting Birds is hard to comprehend and is a direct result on the irresponsible actions of Human Beings! We must act now and care for these beautiful creatures in every way we can!
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  • Stop plans for a potash mine in North Yorks Moors National Park
    The North York Moors is one of the UK's most beautiful landscapes. Its wild beauty inspired generations of writers, poets and artists. It has many rare species and is a vital habitat for many more. The North Yorks Moors National Park Authority has received an application for a £1.7 billion potash mine in the heart of the North York Moors National Park. York Potash proposes to mine potash under an area of 253 sq kms. York Potash proposes to mine potash over a 253 sq km area underneath the Moors, ruining a beautiful landscape with a huge industrial mine. The visual impact on one of our most precious landscapes could be damaging. The construction of the mine will cause disruption for local people by cramming thousands of lorries onto the local road network especially during construction. The North York Moors could face pressure for further development associated with the mine, new roads, new homes for workers and processing facilities. The North York Moors sits on the largest untapped reserves of potash in the world. By consenting to the construction of an industrial mining operation, the North York Moors Authority won't only damage the Park, but will deplete a vital and diminishing resource. The Park Authority should reject the planning application, preserve the park and preserve this resource for future generations. The North York Moors Authority describe the Moors as, "hugely popular with the public – in a poll undertaken in December 2009, 82% of people felt National Parks were important to them personally." They continue "The North York Moors National Park is the place where nature and history inspire each other. Ancient trees, towering coastal cliffs and rolling heather moorland provide habitats for a wide range of wildlife and its wide open spaces and breathtaking vistas bring a sense of peace and tranquility." Once damaged, the landscape and natural beauty of the North York Moors will be hard to repair. It is vital that the application is turned down to protect the North York Moors and preserve it for future generations.
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  • Save Watford's Allotments
    Please consider carefully before closing any allotment in Britain. Other allotments in Britain are also in danger. Once gone they are gone forever. It is important to stress that allotments provide people from varied ethnic origins from all walks of life with exercise, vegetables, friendship, and good health. These are exactly the ingredients required to keep people out of hospital. We need more allotments, not less. There is constant pressure on these spaces and it's easy for the Council to push these proposals through. But once built on, this public land is gone forever. We have people from all ages and social backgrounds who take advantage of the allotments to grow their own food. Our allotments are a vital part of our community and we need to save them for future generations.
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  • Stop plans to incinerate rubbish in Cornwall
    There are alternative ways of dealing with our waste apart from land-fill. Incineration is an out of date method - an Aerobic digestor or composting would deal with food waste which forms a high percentage of household waste. . Cornwall Council are not trying to encourage separating easily biodegradable waste and have ignored a commissioned report by Eunomia Waste Experts, SITA is the waste giant Contractor who will make millions of pounds (rate payers money) over the next 30 years once they have erected their Incinerator. For more detail please Google St. Dennis Anti Incinerator Group.
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