Letter to Editor: Disgust at environmental destruction in Bushey Croft
Politics / Mon 6th Sep 2021 at 07:24am
I MAY well be too late with this e-mail but wanted to express my disgust and horror at the environmental destruction you have forced upon our neighbourhood. If it’s not illegal to remove hedgerows (pre or post nesting season) it should be. The Wildlife & Countryside Act of 1981 is clearly outdated and in urgent need of reform but you’ve found your convenient little loophole with no regard for the wildlife habitat you have just destroyed forever.
The land should never have changed use from allotment in the first place but I guess where there’s money involved, you could find loopholes in the law with no regard for the locals who will have to put up with the noise & the pollution.
All this happening whilst peoples mental state is still in a fragile condition, post pandemic is inexcusable.
I realise that this so called ‘development’ is only the tip of a melting iceberg of environmental devatstation that Harlow Council in collusion with greedy developers are wreaking upon Harlow.
I would like to know about how you intend to redress the balance considering the essential carbon sink (hedgerows & soil) that you’ve taken away. I seriously doubt it would go any way to doing so and that any token gestures to placate the locals and mitigate this environmental rape of the land will fall far short.
In summary, I’m utterly disgusted by this ill thought out, badly chosen site (when we need every bit of green space there is left to keep us sane & healthy).
I know I can’t change any of this but I am enraged every morning as I’m waking up to the sound of pneumatic drilling & the constant wafting into my home of diesel fumes from all the machinery & generators.
I have posted on these pages in the past about how Harlow Council deceived residents and the Secretary of State when they sought Planning Permission and the change of use from housing to allotment land, describing the delays before building started as circumstances beyond the control of the Council, when they were nothing of the sort. Those of us who do not want to see Harlow expanded in the way that the Tories supported by Labour are now proposing must ensure our voices are heard loud and clear and cannot be ignored. The destruction of the Green Belt around Harlow will do nothing to address the real housing shortage in the area, not a single council home will be built and with an Epping and Hertford address to their name one can only imagine what the price of these new homes will be, even when supposedly "affordable housing". Sign our petition at www.harlowallianceparty.org
With all these housing projects on green belt land on the boundaries of our town we are becoming Harlow City.
I too, live in Bushey Croft. The removal of the parking area has cause utter chaos. When the new flats are built, and even more cars are trying to park in the area, what will we do? Apparently there are meant to be allocated spaces for the residents of the flats, and some unallocated spaces as well. This will not be enough. We can't have a dropped kerb as we're near the school and we have double yellow lines outside our house. We objected and attended all the meetings, but guess what? We weren't listened to, because the council wanted the money, so we're stuck with people parking on pavements, and any piece of spare grassed area. Also, we have to deal with having a school on our doorstep, and the moronic idiots who insist on parking anywhere to drop their children off. Including on double yellows, and on the pavements etc. It's a nightmare at the best of times, during the school term, but I can't imagine what the future will hold. I bet there aren't blocks of flats built in the same road as council members live! They go through the motions asking if anyone has objections, but this is just a box ticking exercise. The decision has already been made. I give up! Tracy, Bushey Croft, Harlow
In response to Tracy ....... there will be 16 houses on the site, each with allocated parking spaces and at least a couple of rows of parking spaces for visitors once the development has been completed, only those nearest the former grassed area will be removed. Nonetheless, the Council did ignore the objections raised by residents, indeed mis-led them, when the planning permission was sought.
If you have Council members who are very close to private property developers / consultant companies then how can we expect the interests of and quality of residents lives and the environment to come first? Clearly Cllrs haven't bothered to read the Climate Change reports published this summer. In filling, like that at Purford Green and the many allotment and other spaces around the town is a pernicious process that destroys the very concept of a garden town. It would be better if Places for People, the partnership Harlow, Epping and East Herts Councils have with private speculative property developers ensured that 20 % of the 23000 houses they propose to build are Council homes and that all are built to the new far higher building and environmental standards that the Climate Change reports demand. And that includes provision of zero carbon footprint transport systems.