Keith Parkins | 11.06.2007 17:24 | Ecology
Thanks to years of mismanagement by the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, Aldershot and Farnborough are two of the grottiest towns in the south east. Of small compensation to the local residents is the heathland that encircles both towns.
Vast swathes of heathland once covered south east England, acid bog, grassland, opens woods, heather, bracken. The heathland is now much reduced in size, fragmented and vulnerable.
The heathland encircling Aldershot and Farnborough, is of international merit and has recently been encompassed within the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, an EU designated protection.
To help protect the heathland, English Nature called a halt to any further housing development within proximity of the heathlands, to try to reduce further pressure on the designated heathland.
None of this means anything to the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, who have decided to defy English Nature (now Natural England) and give the go-ahead to development within the prohibited zone delineated by English Nature.
Local people are suffering loss of quality of life due to over development, pressure on infrastructure, loss of green spaces.
As usual it is greed and the interests of property developers that drives Rushmoor policy, councillors and their officials once again out of touch with the local community.
Having set themselves on a collision course with the EU, it will be interesting to see what happens next.
How to meet the demand for new homes the green way, The Independent, 2 May 2006
Jon Land, Rare birds lead to house building freeze across South East, 24dash.com, 2 May 2006
David Lindsell, Borough to defy EU rules designed to protect birds, Farnborough Mail, 5 June 2007
Michael McCarthy, The birds that blocked 20,000 new homes, The Independent, 2 May 2006
Andrew Milford, Wildlife v development: Feathers ruffled in protection row, Farnborough News, 5 May 2006
Keith Parkins, Gardens under threat, Indymedia UK, 26 March 2007
Keith Parkins, Town centre demolition danger, Indymedia UK, 8 June 2007