- Martin HarkerGreen Belt Land Agent
Protect the Green Belt, Agriculture and Wildlife in Rainford, St Helens, Merseyside.
GREEN BELT AGRICULTURAL LAND AND WILDLIFE UNDER THREAT
St Helens Council are proposing to build on Green Belt land in and around Rainford, St Helens.
For many years this land has been used for grazing horses and is the habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including hedgehogs, bats, pheasants, owls, woodpeckers and many species of birds. It also contains beautiful specimens of ancient oak trees and hedgerows and has been designated a 'site of community wildlife interest'.
Rainford is surrounded by farm land all of which is classified as Grade 1 agricultural land, used to produce crops for the likes of Aldi and in light of the recent Brexit vote, it is more important than ever for Britain to keep its agricultural land and to become self sufficient.
THIS IS ALL NOW UNDER THREAT.
Local residents and the community need to Campaign for Rural England, We believe that Rainford should retain its Green Belt land and the wildlife that live there. Any threats by developers should be fought by local people and those that care about the natural environment.
This land is Green Belt and an Area of Special Character.
We need the whole community to stop the local council looking at building on less challenging green belt sites and get them to focus on transforming the brown belt sites and run down areas, even if these are more costly alternatives. Rainford village hasnt got the infer structure to cope with the proposed developments and already has congested road and limited rail links.
Why is the council only allocating 59% of the new local plan to brown field sites? Why isnt the council pro actively contacting land owner of run down/ derelict sites seeking to regenerate this land?
Development on Green Belt land is supposed to be tightly controlled so that it can fulfil its main purpose: to serve as a buffer between towns, and between town and countryside. This gives the incentive to regenerate damaged and derelict land within the urban areas surrounded by Green Belt. At the same time, Green Belts bring social, environmental and economic benefits, while giving people a chance to tap into natural capital on their doorsteps. The green belts around Rainford are extremely valuable for food production and help prevent against floods, climate change mitigation and much more.
Why is the government allowing local councils to assign green belt land to the newly proposed local plan before they have exhausted all brown and green field sites? Surely the borough would benefit more from all brown field sites being regenerated, then pro actively speaking to land owners of closed sites, such as the Pilkington Cowley Hill site and look to regenerating this land before even considering green field sites, let alone protected green belts.
The local council is supposed to represent the borough's interests and not the interests of housing developers.
Please sign my petition to get the council to reconsider the proposed local plan and prioritise brown field sites and open dialect with Pilkington / NSG about regenerating their closed sites.
- Green Belt Land Agent
Protect the Green Belt Land and Wildlife in Rainford, St Helens, Merseyside.
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