Say "NO" to development of Column Road fields and Caldy Woods-SAVE OUR GREENBELT
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Support this petition to say NO to development of the beautiful area of greenbelt between Column Rd, Caldy Rd and Boundary Road (including Caldy Woods and Column Road fields.)
‘Paving paradise’ - A far reaching impact on the character of West Wirral
We believe that there is a very real risk that the fundamental character of the Wirral will be altered by overdevelopment. As rightly identified in proposed scoring criteria by the council there is relatively little (if any) green belt development that would not create a completely contiguous urban development. By allowing construction in this area there would be continuous building from the centre of West Kirby to Thurstaston and Caldy, and also extending up Montgomery Hill to Frankby.
In addition, walkers on Thurstaston Common and Montgomery Hill together with motorists travelling from Heswall to West Kirby through Thursaston gap would see housing rather than the open aspect and woodland currently seen. The impact of this growing urbanization on the wellbeing and mental health of the population of Wirral is not to be underestimated. It will have a significant effect on reducing the attractiveness of the Wirral as a leisure destination with concurrent economic impacts. It is easy to look at 2 dimensional maps and claim that common land is not impinged upon, but the reality is that the experience and character of the Wirral is in danger of being irrevocably defiled.
This area of fields and woodland provides nesting and roosting habitat for several endangered/protected species, notably barn owls and bats together with other species such as woodpeckers, badgers and hedgehogs. Furthermore, it is immediately adjacent to a wetland habitat and Canadian geese and ducks frequent the fields during breeding and migration.
Agricultural land provides an important hunting area for barn owls and the Barn Owl Trust has linked declining populations with loss of agricultural land. Given that there are only 26 breeding pairs of barn owls in the Wirral and Cheshire, attention should be paid to this precarious decline, in particular the loss of hunting grounds and nesting sites.
Barn Owls are legally protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
This area of public woodland and agricultural land provides nesting, roosting and hunting grounds for this beautiful and endangered bird which can be seen occasionally and heard frequently at dusk and at night.
This area, in addition has a population of woodpeckers and of bats (bats being a European protected species) and is frequented by flocks of migrating Canadian geese.
This proposal is contrary to the National Planning Framework
The National Planning Framework states that "once established, Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances"
Development of this land would contravene several of the basic purposes of greenbelt as stated by the government: checking sprawl of built up areas; prevention of merging of neighbouring towns; safeguarding the countryside from encroachment.
The National Planning Framework puts great emphasis on the importance of biodiversity and nature conservation and retention of the character of the landscape.
And yet, this area of land with its ENDANGERED and PROTECTED species is one of many proposed "parcels" of greenbelt which Wirral Government are considering sacrificing for development (in this case for executive homes).
Please sign this petition to say "NO" to developing Wirral's greenbelt and "YES" to preserve biodiversity and nature and to SAVE the beautiful ENDANGERED barn owl.
Monday 10th September: Special extraordinary Council meeting, Wallasey Town Hall at 6pm.
Tuesday September 18th: Public meeting, West Kirby Concourse on at 19:00.
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