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North Tyneside Council Planning
North Tyneside Council and Wallsend Golf CourseWallsend Golf course and now Centurion Park, to STR Enterprises through its subsidiary Keeping Inn Ltd with legal services provided by Wardhadaway. The company will lease the site over a 60-year period, with an option to extend for a further 20 years, to allow for investment. So you know what that will mean in the future: goodbye to another piece of nature and greenbelt and your free access to it. Which commercial company would sit on that land and not build on it? This company is in the leisure "industry" and that means shareholder interest takes priority over community interest.
Of course, nobody informed the resident in the area of the sale. The council planners know very well how opposed the residents are to any further urbanisation of the Walkerville area. The council has made at least two attempts to build a housing estate on the land which clearly shows their attitude to it and plans for it. In 2008 they managed to force through a new football centre on part of the land which was obviously the first step to the development of the whole area. Expect to see the entire green area disappear in the future. When will people ever learn?
You can find a Google Map here - Maps of Wallsend Golf Course
The Wallsend Green Belt
This particular piece of land, the golf course and its attached fields, is one of the last remaining pieces of greenbelt land that also supports an abundance if wildlife, not that wildlife matters to a councillor or green space developer, or is there a difference?
As an example of North Tyneside's hatred of green spaces, look no further than the developments taking place on every remaining patch of green space along the Coast Road. The previously pleasantly laid out green buffer zones between houses and the motorway are fast disappearing to more houses and new industrial units, which the exisiting residents will now have as a view from their window instead of pleasant green space and at least some hope of fresh air.
Of course to a North Tyneside Councillor space and air not filled with a building of some sort is a waste of space and air.
The building along the edges of the motorway really is very ugly and intrusive. You can be sure that no account whatsoever has been taken of the additional traffic flows and the effect that will have on the people who ive on what is already a large and busy housing estate.
Wildlife Diversity Plan
North Tyneside Council has something laughingly called the North Tyneside Biodiversity Action Plan and if you look at related sights you will find lots of pictures of happy bunnies and twittering birds which is complete fiction as far as the Wallsend and Walkerville area is concerned. In the last few years hedgehogs have disappeared completely and so have many birds. In fact at this time of year (February) I should be hearing a lot of blackbird song at night but now, after the recent massive disturbance while building work was going on and which continues, it is silent night nowadays. So much for North Tyneside Council's idea of biodiversity. When a North Tyneside councillor thinks park: think housing estate, supermarket and multiplex cinema. Think dead wildlife and zero birdsong. A wildflower is something you read about in books and on Biodiversity websites.
This is a quote from their own document: "Biodiversity is very important because we would not be able to survive on the planet without the wide range of plants and animals we have around us. Natural habitats are the Earth’s support system, helping with flood control, preventing soil erosion and cleaning pollutants from the air. Biodiversity, therefore, is an indicator of the health of the environment, maintaining an environment that is fit to live in."
Councils have signed up to Agenda 21 and should according to the document:
- To ensure that national action plans are translated into effective action at the local level
- To establish targets for species and habitats that are important to the local area and reflect the values of local people
- To develop local partnerships to ensure that biodiversity conservation is maintained in the long term.
None of this has happened here. In fact North Tyneside Council is destroying the local habitat at a rapid pace.
Here is another contravention:
"It is particularly important that people who live and work in the borough feel involved in the North Tyneside BAP ... " which refers to something called the "urban managed greenspace plan". Oh,yes? And where is that? No sign of it here.
I did think that the land belonged to us, the people, and not to councillors to sell. Selling local land without our permission is betrayal and the theft of our heritage and deprivation of our right to walk on grass and enjoy simple fresh air.
The local North Tyneside Biodiversity Action Plan says "Development plans are required to take full account of nature conservation according to national law and planning guidance."
In this council document there is reference to public consultation which has not taken place.
There are very few internet available Council documents of the meetings about the scheme and the ones I found make no mention of a the hotel which is now being proposed.
Who is responsible for the plans
Well, in our great and ancient democracy the decision makers are certainly not us! We, the people, may have our say sometimes but we rarely have our day. Once the plans are at this stage the result is a forgone conclusion. Please don't vote for any of the councillors and politicians involved at the next elections.
This list includes people you might like to contact to check their involvement in the plans or who may help to block them (don't hold your breath!). For politicians you can also check Wikipedia.
- Coun Eddie Darke - cabinet member for leisure, tourism, culture and communities
- Stephen Byers
- Nick Brown
Remember that EU law supercedes National law. Unfortunately all these laws are focused on endangered species but do nothing about the causes of endangered species which is the destruction of habitat!
Can anyone can find one of the insects listed here - http://www.buglife.org.uk/conservation/policy/tableofinternationallyprotectedspecies.htm!
Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981
Conservation Regulations (1994)
The 1992 Habitats Directive
Summary of Bird Directive - http://www.marbef.org/marbefwiki/Bird_Directive,_Habitat_Directive,_NATURA_2000