Bit By Bit We Are Losing Our Land

Secretary of Kidbrooke with Hornfair ward Toni Hale writes "When you look a round the borough of Greenwich what do you see? Do you see a lot of open spaces in the form of farms, parks, nature reserves and wooded areas? We are surrounded by so much natural beauty in the form of such open spaces available for all of us to use. However, sometimes we fail to see what is actually on our own door step. Look around you again; take notice of what is happening to OUR open spaces.

In a short period of time we will be bombarded by the Olympics and its legacy but at what cost? Thanks to Greenwich Council Greenwich Park will be closed off to the show jumping and cross country, Woolwich Common is closed off with the development of the firing range, redevelopment in Hornfair Park is still in progress so parts of the park are cordoned off. Adding a BMX track there when there were many against it. The plans to redevelop the Lido which means it will be closed for some time before anyone will have an opportunity to use it.

More recently and more importantly there are plans to build an equestrian centre at the site of Shooters Hill Road. This is protected farm land as well as being Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a local Nature Reserve, part of the Green Chain and an important natural green open space. They even want to go as far as to taking horses into Oxleas Wood for riding at the cost of causing severe damage to this natural protective open land. The plans for this are outrageous giving Hadlow College the opportunity to run there which means no one will have access to this site. Please view the plans at www.greenwich.gov.uk application number 11/1765/F.

Again I ask at what cost? Well for starters to build such a large equestrian centre will mean a loss of our open spaces, to the detrimental impact it will have on our environment, at the cost of our taxes to pay for it and the loss to other local riding schools and equestrian run businesses in the area, to name but a few. The Council want to continue to use OUR open land for their Olympic Legacy. We as a community welcome the Olympics and its legacy however, not when it jeopardises our open spaces.

CAPP is a voluntary organisation which campaigns against such planning proposals, I, with other members of the public who are objecting to this planning proposal have an online petition set up for people who wish to object to such plans and to be able to air their views.  Please visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/capp-equestrian.  I will be presenting the petition at the next planning board meeting which will take place on the 13th October 2011 at the Town Hall, Woolwich, SE18 6PW, 6.30pm.  The planning board meeting is open to the public so come along and support our campaign to save OUR open spaces."

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