Fringe Box



Letter: I Am No Green Belt Activist But…

Published on: 4 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 5 Oct, 2013

Local Plan Letters imageFrom Adele Robson

I am no activist. I have never hoisted myself up a flagpole or marched outside a government building and I have even managed to resist the temptation to burn my bra.

Recently though, I have been shamed into believing that the beautiful English countryside that makes up a large part of Guildford’s green belt area has not been my right to enjoy, but rather a short term privilege that is soon to be removed.

This has made me want don a superhero cape and climb something high! I have realised that we have all been manipulated to keep our mouths shut, upper lip suitably stiff and trundle about our daily business. We are shamed into the idea that our selfish need to feast our eyeballs on pretty views is extremely silly when one considers how many houses Guildford has been chosen to build.

The welfare of deer, foxes, badgers, rabbits, hedgehogs, pheasant, kestrel and countless smaller members of this network should not even come into question when the University is in such dire need of the profits from selling land to developers.

Our argument over the greenbelt policy that urban areas will benefit from improved air quality should this land remain intact is viewed as nothing more that ‘green hysteria’.

We and our opinions are merely an irritating splinter in the backside of those who wish to push ahead. Time and time again they have managed to find the tweezers big enough to remove this nuisance but I am hoping that this time we might remain.

As supposedly responsible adults we are constantly being told how to live. What to feed our chidren at home.What to include in a school packed lunch (no sorry, that healthy oat bar may contain the trace of the sound of a hazelnut hitting the floor outside the factory door).

What lightbulbs to use. In what manner we should dispose of our rubbish. What words to use when disciplining our children (‘naughty’ is the devils word). Not to encourage competition in our children as this could cause severe future psychological issues. How much is sensible for us to drink (and eat) per week. And lest we be led into temptation we are even shielded from certain areas of the supermarket by unsightly white cupboards.

I for one am tired of being steered like a helpless child but if this is the sad state in which we now have to abide then so be it.

However,when it comes to removing what is rightfully ours by virtue of our very existence then it’s time to start a revolution in the nursery and tie the nanny’s hands.

This is not their countryside to take away. This is part of our world and we have full right to appreciate its benefits as well as its aesthetics if we so wish. We have the right to teach our children to delight in all it has to offer and the wonder of nature without the need to re-mortgage the house for a trip to Centre Parcs.

The green belt that has been preserved by past generations must be made available for future generations to enjoy.

Reading back I fear that I sound like a green peace warrior, but I am trying to make only one point: I nor anybody else should be made to feel ashamed or silly for campaigning to save Guildford’s green belt from development, those who are hell bent on developing it, for whatever reason, should be ashamed. To apologise for wanting to appreciate nature is the same as apologising for being human.

As a parting word I would like to point out that this is not a case of nimbyism but rather realism. All else aside, the infrastructure of Guildford simply cannot sustain these developmental proposals.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: I Am No Green Belt Activist But…

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    October 5, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Well said, though in reality some of the traffic congestion, i.e. at the entrance to Slyfield Industrial estate, could have been cured by a simply using ten feet of land to widen the road over 200 meters. It was prevented by ‘tree huggers’. We might now get someone suggesting a totally new road in instead which will cause three times as many problems.

    We desperately need to protect our greenbelt but we do need to modify it, ever so slightly, to overcome the problems of the past (to much development/expansion too little infrastructure). So can I please hold the leash restricting the planners please? I will guarantee I won’t let go as I reign in their enthusiasm (drip fed from Central Government) for profit and concrete.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *