Skip to main content

To: Beverley Pasture Masters, East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Save Our Westwood

Save Our Westwood

Dear Sirs,

Please do not allow any access across the Westwood common to the developers of the old Beverley Westwood Hospital site as this is protected by the Commons legislation which allows no encroachment, however temporary, for commercial reasons. The alternative access route is more than adequate for the small number of lorry movements proposed per day.

Why is this important?

This is not a scare story: Beverley's beloved common, Westwood, is under threat. There is a proposal to allow temporary access across a portion of the Westwood to permit the developers easy access to the old Westwood Hospital Site. If this were to happen this would set a precedent that could then be used by other developers to access other potential development sites adjacent to the Westwood, such as the Grammar School, Minster School, Archery Field, East Riding College, Longcroft Lower School, Longcroft Higher School and potentially Grosvenor Place.
If any such access is granted, it is unlikely that it will ever be removed completely and damage will be done to the integrity of the Westwood as well as its fauna and flora: trees will be cut down, hedges broken through and grasslands compacted and altered forever. This, over time, will result in the loss, piece by piece, of the Westwood we know: a Westwood we have a duty to pass on to our children in the condition we inherited it. Beverlonians have protected our commons for centuries, are we really going to throw this away for the sake of six or so lorry movements per day over 18 months? If we do, we would be betraying those who fought for these commons in the past.

There is a vociferous, ill-informed campaign promoting the idea of access across the Westwood, however, the emotive campaign they are running is full of omissions. The facts of the case are set out below.

Town Route: Problems
Congestion in the narrow streets;
Increased traffic movements on these streets;
Increased noise for the residents.

Westwood Route: Problems
The route of this access road will cross and damage ancient common land;
The route will damage the existing grassland;
The route will involve the removal of a section of species-rich hedgerow;
The route will involve the removal of a small tree;
There will be increased traffic movements on the Westwood;
The temporary road will set a precedent.

Town Route: Mitigation Measures
The developers have said they will limit lorry movements to 12 per day during demolition ( c. 2 months);
The developers have said they will limit lorry movements to 6 per day during the construction phase, 16 months;
The developers will use a small lorry;
There will be no lorry movements during the rush hours nor at school pick-up and drop-off times.

Westwood Route: Mitigation Measures
The developers say they will re-instate the grassland;
They will replant the hedge;
They will replant the tree.

It would appear that the problems associated with the town route can be easily mitigated against and the very small number of lorry movements per day is more than reasonable, especially when you take into consideration the number of movements there used to be when the Westwood Hospital was open and when the new housing estate is built. These movements included ambulances, delivery vehicles, skip lorries, gritting lorries and patients being picked-up and dropped-off. Concern has also been raised regarding the danger to schoolchildren at Minster School. The developers appear to have taken this into account in their plans and will schedule no lorry movements during the rush hour or at school pick-up and drop-off times. In truth the biggest risk to school children is local residents speeding along The Leases or rat-running up Central Avenue and Thurston Road to get to Cartwright Lane.

In terms of the access across the Westwood, there appears to very little that the developers can do to mitigate against the damage they will cause. Whilst they have said they will reinstate everything they damage, in ecological terms this is easier said than done and, in most cases, is impossible. Their route will destroy a species-rich hedge which cannot be replaced in our lifetimes.

The problem of precedent cannot easily be undone, once the access route has been constructed. This will encourage other developers to do likewise in order to develop other sites, more difficult to access than the old Westwood Hospital site, by insisting on temporary access across the Westwood. This would open-up areas, such as Grosvenor Place and Minster School to development pressure.

East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Categories


Reasons for signing

  • As former residents of Hull,my wife and I used the Westwood regularly for recreation and relaxation. It is a prized common posession, used by a wide range of people from all walks of life. Although this proposal seems innocuous, it is likely that it will be used as a precedent for futher infringements of common land.
  • We need to protect this type of area!
  • Because it would be the thin end of the wedge!

Updates

2014-06-11 22:35:14 +0100

ERYC want to swap land at Longcroft School in return for a cycle lane along the B1230. To this end, they made an application to the Defra Common Land Team in Bristol, however, because of the complaints from the Beverley Civic Society, and local residents, Defra are contemplating a Public Enquiry on the issue. Not happy with this ERYC have recently been contacting objectors in an attempt to get them to withdraw their objections to their proposals. They have also put pressure on the Pasture Masters to withdraw their objection and the PMs have now said that they will agree to the proposal so long as the hedgerow and bank are removed, i.e. the new land can be incorporated into Hurn pasture.
The problem that ERYC now have is that the hedge and bank are protected by the Hedgerow Regulations 1997. In view of this they have written letters saying that the council (ERYC) will make an application to remove the hedge to the Local Planning Authority…err…ERYC!
All this for a cycle lane…?

2014-02-23 10:27:38 +0000

The date for comments on the Westwood Hospital development has now passed and we await to see what ERYC will do when they consider the decision next month. The petition was submitted but, depending on whether the decision is deferred and whether, in any re-submission or amendments, the proposal to access the site over the Westwood will be resurrected, we will keep this petition running in case ERYC need to be reminded about the strength of feeling on this issue.
In the meantime, the ERYC has launched a new assault on the Westwood which, if granted by the Defra Common Land Team in Bristol, would set a very dangerous precedent for the Westwood and the rest of Beverley's commons. This proposal involves land swaps and, even though the details are sketchy due to the Council's lack of transparency, there is some coverage on the Beverley Commons Blog: http://www.noswinemoorhospital.co.uk/.

Once again, thanks for all your support and keep up the fight.

2014-01-27 23:35:59 +0000

There are those supporting the campaign that believe we have already won on the site access issue. However, this is not the case and the campaign to promote the access road across Westwood have been leafletting houses along the town route to the Westwood Hospital site encouraging people to write to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to express concerns regarding traffic and safety.
There is more news to come on this and other developments, however, if you want to read the full story to date, visit http://www.noswinemoorhospital.co.uk/
Please continue to support the petition and encourage your friends to sign: the future of Beverley's commons really is in your hands.

2014-01-22 22:08:54 +0000

7,000 supporters - thank you all very, very much!

Please continue to encourage your friends and neighbours who haven't yet signed to do so. The more signatures we have, the stronger the message we will send to ERYC when they consider the planning application for the old Westwood Hospital Site.

In addition, the more signatures we get, the LOUDER the message will be: the message is, now and in the future, 'Save our Westwood and leave our commons alone!'

2014-01-18 14:13:50 +0000

The application for the development of the old hospital site has now been put online and on Page 11 of the Construction Management Plan (CMP) it says:

"If a route were to be established over the Westwood then a formal contractual agreement would need to be agreed and put in place with the Pasture Masters. It is understood that the Pasture Masters are custodians of the Westwood on behalf of East Riding Council who own the pasture. If full support were not forthcoming then a public inquiry may be necessary to secure the necessary agreements."

There is clearly still a hope by the developers that access across our beloved common can still be secured. Please continue to sign the petition: the Westwood is still under threat until ERYC refuses this option.

For more details and links visit:
http://www.noswinemoorhospital.co.uk/

2014-01-16 22:44:12 +0000

Last night the Pasture Masters voted unanimously NOT to allow a temporary access road across the Westwood to the Old Beverley Hospital site.
This is truly great news and it is the direct result of the hard work you have all put in - thank you!
Sadly, I would like to say we have won the war, however, in reality we have just won the first battle. We now need to convince the ERYC that this idea is a non-starter, not only on the Westwood, but on Beverley's other common lands. We need to send a clear message that encroachment will not be tolerated on the Westwood for the development of other sites, such as the college site and Longcroft Schools.
We will present the petition to the Planning Committee when it considers the planning application for the old hospital site. In the meantime, it is essential that we send as strong a message as possible that our commons are inviolate and NOT NEGOTIABLE.
Once again, thanks for your support and keep up the effort.

2014-01-15 20:52:08 +0000

Th campaign is going from strength to strength but we still need your support - tell you friends, tell anyone who uses and loves our Common to sign the petition. The more voices we have, the more the powers that be will listen....
We have been on the air again today and will be again tomorrow: you can see one of our media interviews here:
http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Thousands-oppose-housing-developers-plans/story-20445571-detail/story.html

The Pasture Master are meeting this evening: very probably as I write this. Hopefully, they will do what their forefathers have done and protect the Commons from those wish to (ab)use them for commercial purposes.
Needless to say, we will report any news as soon as we have it, however, it is important to remember that the Pasture Masters are only half of this battle, we also need to get the message across to ERYC. The message is 'Leave our Commons alone'!

2014-01-15 00:10:15 +0000

We have now reached 5,000 signatures and the campaign is now reaching the local media. Campaign members have been interviewed by Look North, Radio Humberside, KCFM, the Hull Daily Mail and the Beverley Guardian. Why? Because you, our supporters who care about our beautiful commons, have taken action and signed the petition. Thank you!!
However, we are not there yet. We still need to convince the Pasture Masters and the ERYC of the folly of this idea. If you wish to be more involved in the campaign, please us know - there is still work to do.

2014-01-14 22:13:52 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2014-01-14 20:32:09 +0000

Thanks for all your fantastic support! However, the fight is not over: the Pasture Masters meet tomorrow (Wednesday 15th January) to decide on whether they will bow to P J Livesey's request to allow access to the Westwood Hospital site. The final say, however, lies with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Please email your local Councillor and tell them how you feel about this proposal and let them be in no doubt about how you will act in the voting booth if previous generations are betrayed and access is ever allowed across OUR beloved Westwood!

2014-01-13 23:37:36 +0000

I understand that the Beverley Pasture Masters are meeting this Wednesday, 15th January 2014, to consider the question of allowing temporary access across the Westwood. We need as many signatures as we can before that date. If you have any doubts about this campaign, please read the detailed analysis on:
http://www.noswinemoorhospital.co.uk/

Thank you for your support!

2014-01-13 19:13:53 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2014-01-13 17:12:40 +0000

500 signatures reached

2014-01-13 11:08:47 +0000

100 signatures reached

2014-01-13 06:39:32 +0000

50 signatures reached

2014-01-12 19:45:14 +0000

25 signatures reached

2014-01-12 17:40:26 +0000

10 signatures reached