1,000 signatures reached
To: The Co-Operative Estates & PJ Planning of Stourbridge
Save Oakfield Rec
Please halt your plans to build on the land at Bilton Road, Rugby and otherwise known as Oakfield Rec. Let the Council lease the land from you once more for the benefit of the residents.
Why is this important?
There is clearly a need for houses to be built, but locations can be more sensitively chosen based on areas that are not in active use. The Government's initiative for backing more houses to be built is completely necessary, but surely it's more appropriate to use brown barren sites than it is to use football pitches for the purpose of building 62 new dwellings.
The field known as Oakfield Rec just from Bilton Road exists in an already built-up area and is cherished by a fair amount of people. Logic dictates that it is cherished is for precisely that reason - it's green land in a built up area which a rare commodity in an area that is otherwise concrete. Not only is it green land, but it's actively used green land.
Oakfield Rec is regularly in use by dog-walkers, joggers running around the football pitch, families holding picnics, people performing yoga. There's regular local Sunday League football matches played there, and people using the goals for training and Dads kicking a football around with their kids in the only publicly accessible open space around for half a mile.
The Government are currently promoting a Change 4 Life program right now. Eat Well, MOVE MORE, Live Longer is the strap-line they are using, but how can that be in keeping with replacing green grass land that is actively in use for sporting and leisure purposes with even more bricks and mortar?
There is no other green land within half a mile of the site of the proposed building works. This may not be a problem for many, but for folk who experience mobility difficulties a seemingly simple task such as walking the dog may now become a real problem.
Yes, there is a lack of housing, but there's no lack of unoccupied homes in the UK. According to Council Tax statistics, in October 2013, 24445 properties were deemed 'long term empty' in the West Midlands. Building more houses isn't the only answer to the problem! Source: http://www.emptyhomes.com/statistics-2/empty-homes-statistice-201112/
The primary school closest to the proposed site has recently taken 35 children into its reception year, when it's recognised that the maximum should be 30. If we are going to hinder our children with over-populated classrooms then is this not a self-defeating action? Should we not be nurturing and developing our own children to be the best that they can be right from the moment they enter school at reception level? Surely we want our children's classrooms to not be overcrowded, and for them to receive the appropriate level of teacher assisted time? For the record, the primary school employed an extra teacher to handle the extra pupils, but if over-subscription remains a problem in the future (and this new build would increase the chances of that being the case) then they're going to need to be creative with how they handle that. Can they afford a new teacher for every academic year for example? With the cuts being made, it seems highly unlikely.
This proposed new build clearly causes more problems than it solves and there are alternative measures that should be explored before turning the limited amount of inner town green space into yet more concrete. I urge the Co-Operative to reconsider this development, and to please lease the land back to the Council as has been the case historically.