Wednesday, 15 April 2015

CoVoP Day of Action in Sidmouth >>> and across the UK >>> reports

Sunday saw a gathering at Knowle - which brought into focus several issues across East Devon:
Futures Forum: CoVoP Day of Action in Sidmouth: this Sunday 12th April >>> "Furious protestors are set to stage a major demonstration against a “rigged” planning system that threatens to destroy Honiton’s “individual character.”

The day also saw a series of such gatherings across the UK.

Here are reports from the Community Voice on Planning website:

Day of Action (12 April 2015)

Wet Weather didn’t stop the marches in Yorkshire
Despite being handicapped by the most inclement weather conditions, bringing heavy rain and strong winds, the marches yesterday in support of the Community Voice on Planning National Day of Action and encouraged by WARD were a resounding success!
In Menston, the joint WARD (Wharfedale & Airedale Review Development), Menston and Guiseley Greenbelt Protection Group rally to save Ings Fields from developers was attended by more than 100 people.  Menston and Guiseley are just two local communities where loss of greenbelt will lead to urban sprawl and loss of community identity as villages merge.  Later, members of the WARD committee left this group and moved to join a group of protesters in Ilkley at the Cow and Calf Rocks.
Heavy rain and strong winds did not deter hundreds of residents from Rawdon and Horsforth in their march for greenbelt. They were enthusiastically joined not only by other Aireborough residents from Yeadon, Ilkley and Menston, but also over 50 campaigners from North East Bradford. The marchers assembled with their placards at Jubilee Hall, Rawdon, to begin their 3½ mile route around nine sites that Leeds City Council have either allocated for housing or have reserved for housing (PAS land).
Local Kirklees residents were out in force to ask local politicians and government to listen to the local people’s voice on planning issues – as they don’t feel they have been listened to in the past. The crowd gathered under the statue on St George’s Square in Huddersfield to listen to speeches by Robert Bamforth, Chairman of KCAN, and Cheryl Tyler, Chairman of Save Mirfield. The rally was supported by the CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) and the Yorkshire Greenspace Alliance.
Hudderfield Rally
Hudderfield Rally
Sun in Oxfordshire brought hundreds to Wantage Market Place
The Wantage and Grove Campaign Group, in association with CPRE Oxfordshire and the Oxfordshire Action Rally had a very successful event on a sunny morning.
Between 200-300 people turned out to hear a rousing speech from Peter Jay followed by speeches from the Director of CPRE Oxfordshire and the Chairman of CoVoP. These were followed by speeches from each of the parliamentary candidates in the area and a summing up from the Campaign Manager of the Local Group. It was a good day and everyone felt it was useful. We obtained over 200 additional signatures for our petition and had journalists there from all the local press.
The weather cleared in Morecambe Bay
Grange & District Action Group encouraged local residents to come together for a symbolic meeting on an avenue of 11 lime trees that are due to be felled to make ‘safer access’ to a development of 64 dwellings. These trees are symbolic because, even though they are covered by a Tree Preservation Order and situated in the centre of Grange-over-Sands’ Conservation Areas, SLDC has agreed that they can be felled. In their place will be an access road leading to a densely packed housing estate on a prime green field site. This development will not complement the local architecture but it will destroy a valued open space, with iconic views across Morecambe Bay. These views bring tourists to Grange-over-Sands; the town’s economy depends on tourists.
Save our Gloucestershire Green Belt and Open Spaces
Brockworth residents got together for a countryside march in protest to housing plans as part of their attempts to show what will be lost if a massive housing development gets the green light.
As their organiser Janet Thomas said “It was good to feel that we were part of a bigger picture and other groups were involved countrywide. People are beginning to voice their disquiet more and more about losing important open spaces and this will have gone a long way in highlighting the planning issues we face.”
Keep It Green 2014 footpath walk
Keep It Green 2014 and a number of their supporters took part in their first footpath walk of 2015 on the theme of “Listen to the People’s Voice on Planning”.  The route took the walkers a distance of three miles, along established footpaths across Green Belt land between the communities of Pogmoor, Gawber, Redbrook, Barugh Green and Higham, land that is at risk of development as part of Barnsley Council’s emerging Local Plan, which makes unjustified claims about needing this Green Belt land to meet its housing and jobs targets.
And the ponies came too
And the ponies came too
Saving the Countryside in the South West
Cheltenhams 8th Annual Save the Countryside walk was another event in our Day of Action.
Around 60 people, dogs and a Pony, braved the winds to walk the 3 miles around the greenbelt area that has been identified for 4850 houses (the 2nd largest greenbelt incursion ever in the UK). Why isn’t the Government listening?
Protesting about the injustices of the Planning System in Congleton
In spite of very inclement weather, members of the Protect Congleton-Civic Society movement gathered at their local beauty spot, Astbury Mere, to mark a national day of protest at the inanities and injustices of the planning system. The Mere is just one of the local beauty spots which is being plundered by developers.
Promises of reform to the NPPF from Candidates in East Devon
About a hundred people from various parts of East Devon gathered on the lawn terraces at Knowle on Sunday afternoon 12th April to listen to speeches from parliamentary candidates and others about the national planning set-up. Parliamentary candidates representing all parties, except the Conservatives, from both the Honiton and Tiverton and the Devon East constituencies gave their views on the national planning system and in particular the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
All of them promised reforms, mostly involving prioritising brownfield developments, protecting the countryside and building more affordable homes for local people.
Promises of Reform in East Devon
Promises of Reform in East Devon

Day of Action (12 April 2015) | Community Voice on Planning

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