Friday, 13 March 2015

Save the Green Belt Presentation

This is our video about the proposed Dunton Garden Suburb development and the greater threat to the green belt that it symbolises. The documentary concentrates on the wildlife issue which is just one of many reasons we are opposed to the development. I talked about those other points in my earlier presentation and wanted to focus here on the biodiversity and the political questions posed by the proposal.

I was helped in preparing this by Dr. Annie Gordon who is a conservation specialist working for the Essex Wildlife Trust. I visited the proposed location for the new suburb with Annie and some other wildlife enthusiasts who have helped identify a number of protected species and habitats there in a short space of time. The video shows some timelapse sequences featuring owls, badgers, foxes and Muntjak deer seen on Dunton Hills.

This video was presented last night at a public meeting organised by R.A.I.D at which 13 local politicians were present and each spoke for five minutes about the issues raised. We are very grateful to them for taking the time and trouble to be there. Some of the Councillors from Brentwood said that some parts of the video were misleading. I will say more about their objections later but I will state now that I disagree with them and stand by everything I said here.

There were also a few who said that we should not get too political. Like it or not this is an issue surrounded by politics. As a group we have members from across the political spectrum and will aim to be politically neutral in our presentations. However, the political questions need to be asked and answered and I make no apology for bringing them up. I think some of the politicians would like to fence us in and make us stick to just saying why we are opposed to Dunton Garden Suburb. That would make us easier to deal with. It might even make us look like just simple NIMBYs, which we are not. The R.A.I.D group has now aligned itself with the South East Essex Action Group Alliance and through them we are looking at the bigger picture of the threat to the green belt in the area. We will not be corralled into the corner the politicians want us to stay in.

The meeting last night was recorded on video in full and later I will put the whole video up for the benefit of those who could not make it.

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