Arable issue national one

The development at New Hartley seems to be causing resistance, which I think can be broadened.

First, it isn’t petty to complain your view is being spoiled. The development will hijack a number of pleasant outlooks and devalue adjacent properties by degree.

This is a universal point of empathy for canvassing support.

A project of this scale should also have a permanent additional access road as a pre-condition of the build application, otherwise regular significant flow issues will occur at the chicane at the western access to the village and throughout the community.

Inept, incompetent and upside-down thinking by Barratt and the county council.

In the Land Availability Assessment 2013, the site is classed as ‘greenfield’, ‘suitable’ and ‘available’ for an ‘achievable’ development.

But if we next look at Google Earth or speak to residents, this field was farmed until relatively recently. It has thus rapidly transited ‘whitebelt’ status and we have another support element: the loss arable land.

The same document makes clear surpluses in housing are to counter deficits in other areas and lists available sites for development and where shortfalls and surpluses occur.

Are Barratt cherry-picking a prime ‘surplus’ site to increase the chances of rapid uptake?

Previously Developed Land (PDL) like Alcan, Bates, Blyth Power Station, seem not to be good medium/long-term options. I wonder why?

Clearly a lot of money is moving around to parties who don’t have too many scruples or any interest in anything but short to medium term financial gains.

But we’re losing more arable land we don’t need to, when using previously developed land could deliver housing and bring riverside and seaview brownfield areas back to full health.

By the way, we already have a ‘Wildlife Zone’, Mr Roberts. It’s called a field and several thousand yards of hedgerow – and current fauna residents aren’t keen to relocate.

Loss of arable is a national issue and exactly what democracy and political representation are for, so is it too much to ask that regional MPs unify behind this and take this issue higher with a moral, social, ecological and democratic intervention?

Stephen Hislop RVM

New Hartley