Written evidence from Dundry Residents
Action Group (DRAG) (ARSS 85)|
My name is Debbie Nicholls I represent DRAG: Dundry
Residents Action Group we are one af a number of many groups fighting
to save the Greenbelt within the South West.
I trust that my submision below is accepted on behalf
of my group.
The committee I believe has decided to undertake
an enquiry into the revocation and the abolition of the regional
spatial strategy (RSS). The committee will be focusing particularly
on the implications of house building.
The RSS had been introduced & was about to be
imposed on people who had very little knowledge or no knowledge
at all of the implications it would have.
I ask that you read my submission & Decide in
favour of Protecting The Greenbelt & find yourselves able
to give the general public a Firm Irrevocable & Lasting Commitment
to The Retention & Protection of All Current Greenbelts within
the South West & the Entire UK. I also ask that you uphold
the decision to Abolish the RSS.
Dundry Residents Action Group was formed in August
2008 when we learned that Developers planned to build 9500 dwellings
on our much valued Greenbelt we felt the need to inform local
people of the impact that the massive proposed South West Regional
Spatial Strategy (SWRSS) housing developments would have on our
village and the surrounding area. We felt it necessary to form
this Group because the RSS had been imposed upon us with very
little open easy accessible consultation.
In the case of the planning application submitted
to North Somerset on behalf of the Developer in which over 9500
dwellings a "Major Application" that was to be given
the name of Ashton Park covered a swathe of land that was all
protected Greenbelt. We learned that the Developers had already
put into place options on most of the greenbelt land, thus giving
open access to vast swathes of land if the RSS was agreed to.
The "Build" was to take place over a period
of between 10 & 15 years in Three Phases: Social & Affordable
Homes were of High Density with No Gardens & No Parking Facilities
(giving the less well off no incentive to better themselves).
These Ghetto like dwellings were to be built in phase three!!!.
The LAST Phase. If built at all, surly these should have been
the first thus ensuring that the developer did not run out of
This would see the gradual destruction of all of
our Greenbelt over a period of time causing catastrophic implications
not only to the local community who would be living on a building
site for many years but to the well being of the general public
and also a major loss of wildlife which in the case of this location
We are not opposed to Social & affordable homes
should the need be proven, given the planning application submitted
these home were to be built last it was not hard to work out that
most of the proposed development was driven by Greed & Not
Need. Quick profit & Luxury Houses as opposed urgently needed
We were fortunate enough to be asked to be included
in a programme made by the BBC featuring Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen
called "Englands Green & Pleasant Land" in which
our plight was highlighted The programme went out on Easter Monday
& was viewed all over the country. The volume of response
was unimaginable people could not believe that Central Government
could on a Whim choose to allow Developers who in most cases were
only seeing Vast Profits being made, being allowed to build on
Currently Protected Greenbelt which should only ever be built
on in Exceptional Circumstances. This application could show No
GOSW in Bristol received well in access of 37,000
letters of ojection from the South West alone, an unprecedented
amount & the largest response ever received.
Within the SW as a whole we feel that house building
targets should revert to a proven need.
North Somerset council has its core strategy in place
& firmly agrees that the Greenbelt should not be encroached
upon. Any building required I am lead to believe will be overseen
with Local Councils in consultation with Local Communities .Taking
this approach we hope to see developments that have a good infrastructure
in place prior to any build & that this will also eliminate
rural ghettos & buildings of a shoddy nature.
The implications of the abolition of regional house
building targets can only prove to be seen as a Positive move.
The country now has an opportunity to abolish the
RSS and build on the concept of local community involvement.
Drag was instrumental together with groups from Shortwood,
Warmley & Siston in forming our umbrella group "SOGS"
Save Our Green Spaces. We are now a respected body and have many
Groups that cover the entire South West all with the same aims.
A delegation of SOGS members met with Mr Steve Quartermain
a short while ago at DLCG, London & had a very positive meeting