Archive for February, 2016

Save Shorne Wood

Pudding Wood 1

Could they? Would they?

I have written before about the wonderful OUP early reader book, Save Pudding Wood.

It should be on every environmentalist’s shelf. The Woodland Trust should buy copies for all its members, or all the very young ones. Save Pudding Wood tells a story of community action saving a much-loved wood. Now ancient woodland and a country park near my home in Rochester is threatened by a new road. Could they? Would they?..

Save Shorne Wood! And, of course, the other woodland, countryside and villages which will be damaged or destroyed by the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.

Continue reading ‘Save Shorne Wood’

More planning reform: what’s going on?

The Government is making changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The consultation runs until 22 February, and the House of Commons CLG Select Committee is holding an inquiry – see here for my oral evidence.

CPRE’s planning experts will be blogging about various aspects of the consultation in the coming weeks. Here is an overview.

  1. Some of it is good.

The consultation’s strong emphasis on building more homes on brownfield land is very welcome. Continue reading ‘More planning reform: what’s going on?’

The Lower Thames Crossing

I have written here before about the growing threat to the English (and Welsh) countryside of new roads. Now the issue has arisen close to home, with plans for a new river crossing east of Gravesend. I have a letter in today’s Medway Messenger, written as a Rochester resident – CPRE Kent’s much more measured, official line on this proposed act of vandalism is here. I suspect I will be writing more about this issue in the coming weeks. My letter is below.

I loved the picture of the proposed new Thames crossing in last week’s paper. How clean it looks! The picture shows mostly undisturbed countryside and its caption reads: ‘how the new bored tunnel will look in Kent’. But no road is ever as innocuous as the picture suggests. In reality, the new road will come with lots of noise, light pollution, air pollution and general ugliness. It will cut through beautiful countryside, destroy ancient woodland and blight the wonderful Shorne Wood Country Park.

The pity is that all this damage, at huge expense, will do little to relieve congestion in the longer term. Continue reading ‘The Lower Thames Crossing’