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Letters Editor
Telegraph Media Group,
111 Buckingham Palace Road,
London SW1W 0DT

14 July 2007

Dear Sir,

Green Belts and Flooding

Gordon Brown’s reassures us that he will protect our Green Belts. A planning inquiry decision, rescheduled for the day Tony Blair announced his departure, gave permission was given to build 700+ houses on York’s Green Belt. Permission was granted even though the City Council told the inquiry that they had enough brown-field land to satisfy the housing-quota allocated to them by central government.

This planning decision is doubly topical because it is to be built on flood land. This vulnerability has very sensibly protected this land from development but has also made it such a rich environment with Sites of Special Scientific Interest adjacent.

The natural drain linking this area to the river Ouse was carved at the end of the last ice age. All parties at the inquiry agreed that this drain known as Germany Beck provided the likely setting for the last great shield-wall battle to be fought in England, just a few weeks before the clash of cavalry and shield-wall at Hastings in 1066. Nevertheless, this natural ditch is to be filled to provide the access road to this green-field estate, burying the battlesite. This road will dramatically limit the ability of the beck to convey the peak flows that have become a feature of the region’s weather.

Given my experience, I am not sure if we should accept the Prime Minister’s promises to guard our environmental and historic environment. May I also suggest that the time has come to make those offering reassurances about flood risks financially responsible for the consequences of any miscalculations?



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The author of the content is Charles Jones - fulfordthing@gmail.com   Last updated April 2015

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