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  1. I think you may be referring to the piece of land in the Stockton Heath area which was earmarked for development but was in use by local residents as a BMX track and walkthrough area. The case was made for retaining its use by residents as it was one of the few remaining pieces of open land available and development seemed inappropriate. I believe the conservatives and lib/dems got involved and the land was retained for use by the residents. This case is slightly different in that it is not the only piece of open land and the children in the area do have places that they can play without this piece of land being retained for that use. This is why the action of ploughing it up is, in my mind, somewhat paranoid. It would be nice (and in the interests of maintaining a cooperative attitude between residents and EP) if EP could find it in their hearts to leave the land in a more attractive state in the intervening years before the building work takes place? The land does also provide children with a short cut from the new estate to the primary school, and this short cut will effectively be made permanent when the building work takes place, so nothing is being done now that conflicts with the intended future use. In support of that use of the land, when the original embankments were put in place, a footpath wide opening was deliberately left to allow residents to gain access to and walk across the field. Thus access has always been encouraged, and talk now of "trespass" seems in contradiction of this intent. I am beginning to think that the act of ploughing the field may have been the decision of one individual who may perhaps not have been acting in accordance with overall intent. After all, EP hold the land on behalf of the council and thus on behalf of all our interests and should therefore be trying to act accordingly - they are not a private organisation protecting their own profitable interests (which would of course be a different matter entirely). A final note regarding something that doesn't make sense - I was given the impression by EP that they were annoyed at residents walking across the land and the ploughing was to prevent this, but in ploughing the field the machine that was used was also used to flatten and recreate the two short cuts across the land - so which is it? Trespassers beware or residents welcome? Should we continue to use the two paths and the cycle path or should we be afraid of being prosecuted for trespass? I was given the impression (but this may be my misunderstanding) by the local conservative councillor for the area in which the land falls that the latter was the case and walking on the land represented trespass - and appropriate action could therefore be taken by EP. This seems in contradiction with the manner in which the land has been prepared. I am confused... as are many othe local residents with who I have discussed this matter. Jon A p.s. Don't talk much do I.... p.p.s. Perhaps it would make a good location for an open rehabilitation centre/prison?
  2. I think the "BMX" track case is at the heart of this. A couple of local boys built a small lump in one corner of the grass area and I think EP got paranoid about the idea of the area being turned into a BMX track and then claimed by the residents as some sort of local amenity rather than as future development land. In my opinion this a gross over-reaction as this is certainly not the intent or attitude of the residents. However, it is fair to say that if an organisation takes an us-and-them attitude then it will inevitably engender a similarly attitude in the local residents and they will create the very problem they are trying to avoid. As to the farming explanation - it seems unlikely that a farmer would want to take this piece of land when there are far better plots of land (also owned by EP and earmarked for future development) that are more accessible by farming machinery and without a housing estate plonked slap bang in the middle of them that they would prefer to use. It definitely isn't for a winter crop (as suggested by EP) as it is too late for that and the type of ploughing done is not appropriate for that use. They have also stated that the land has not yet been offered out to a farmer for use and so it seems odd that they would spend tax payers money on ploughing the field before they know whether a proscpective farmer would want it in that state or not. It is worth noting that now that the soil has been broken up it would theoretically be much easier for lads to build a BMX track as the digging would be less arduous compared to heavily grassed unbroken soil. Another explanation given by EP was that the mound represented a health and safety issue for people walking across the field - but the ploughing is so deep that it creates a much greater risk than the one mound ever did. I believe it is also a recognised fact that the more unattractive a piece of land is, the more likely it is to get used for undesirable activities (such as dumping, traveller incursion, off road motorbikes, etc....). Jon A
  3. Protection against travellers has been suggested as a possibility but English Partnerships were very clear that it was to keep the residents off it - it is fully protected against incursion by vehicles - it has embankments and metal bollards to restrict access by anything other than bicycles and pedestrians along the cycle path.
  4. Point taken Gary (although I was extremely carefully to make sure that I was very clear on what was my opinion or my belief and not hard fact - and I did explain that my recollection might not be completely word-for-word accurate). I have taken your advice, and have raised the issue directly with the Warrington South Conservative office. In the meantime I would urge any residents local to the field in question to have a look at it and if they are unhappy with the actions taken. Cheers Jon A
  5. I think, observer, that you are right on the eco value issue (and also this relates to another issue - residents employing land for another use which then causes difficulty in getting planning permission). However, this piece of land has already been earmarked for development and permission granted. There are also plenty of areas around the houses in this area and so residents would have a weak case to apply to overturn the development permission. For EP to plough it up now (and for the next 8 or more years) simply to protect their building rights seems both paranoid and inconsiderately destructive, and what is more - they are using our money to do the ploughing. It also seems a great shame that the land could not continue to provide some visual pleasure for residents and some support for local wildlife during the many years before development takes place. It was a lovely meadow area with good quality grass and wildflower (not scrubland) and could have been maintained as such with little or no expense for the next few years. Now it is ploughed soil which will rapidly turn into mud. In other words - they've won they're development rights - so why don't they back off now and let people enjoy the last few years before it turns into housing (which in the current economic climate may well not happen for considerably longer than originally intended). Jon A
  6. I've located it on multimap - the following link should take you straight to it (red circle marks the spot) http://www.multimap.com/s/xySw2Jp6 Jon A
  7. Hi All My first post on this site relates to a piece of land near our home in the Stretton/Appleton area which falls under the control of English Partnerships, and until recently was wild meadow with all the benefits to local wildlife that that entails and a cycle/foot path runs along the top edge. The land is earmarked for development (but not until 2015 at the earliest) and our understanding is that it is not assigned for agricultural use at this time, but despite this English Partnerships took it upon themselves sometime in the last few days to deep plough the entire area (approx 10 acres) with absolutely no notice or consideration for residents. In fact, on contacting EP we were informed that the destruction had been conducted to "keep people off the land". (It is worth noting at this point that EP's actions are effectively paid for by us through our taxes). WE can not allow posts to make personal attacks on people and as such have removed comments relating to a named individual. We have kept the full transcript should it be required in a court of law! Gary Skentelbery Editor
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