Topic

environment

1,324 petitions

Update posted 19 hours ago

Petition to Faringdon Town Council, The Vale of White Horse District Council, & Secretary of State, Sajid Javid

PROTECT WICKLESHAM QUARRY FROM DEVELOPMENT

 The High Court has now granted permission for a full Judicial Review. With your support Wicklesham's CrowdJustice Appeal met its first target of £10,000 in an incredible 16 DAYS! Thank you!  Wicklesham Quarry SSSI lies outside the market town of Faringdon, in the western Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire. It is in an area of high landscape value, the Corallian Ridge, outside the town's development boundary. Planning conditions state it must be restored to agriculture. However, it is safeguarded in Faringdon Neighbourhood Plan for use as an industrial/ warehousing (B2/B8) site. Natural England calls it “one of Britain’s richest palaeontological localities”. It is an internationally famous geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), with a "very rich and unusual assemblage" of over 150 species of fossils, including rare sponges, many of which are known to occur only at Faringdon. It also has fossil reptiles - turtles, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and crocodiles. It is a "type site"- which means Faringdon has given its name to unique aspects of Wicklesham's geology: Faringdon fossils, Faringdon Greensands, and the Faringdon Sponge Gravels. Although the old quarry is no longer being worked, it has still not been restored.* Restoration would involve recreating a fertile soil bed in the quarry base using the original topsoil, and preserving the fossil-rich walls and naturalised plant and wildlife. The quarry's ponds have breeding colonies of toads, smooth and palmate newts, and Great Crested Newts, a European Protected Species. Wicklesham tetrad also has eleven plant species listed as ‘rare’. Following restoration, Wicklesham would soon become an exceptionally rich natural habitat, a local community resource and educational and scientific destination, and an important attraction for visitors. Wicklesham Quarry is part of West Oxfordshire Heights Conservation Target Area- for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. It lies beneath the viewing point of Galley Hill, at the centre of a network of well-used local footpaths connecting Faringdon to the villages of Fernham and Little Coxwell, and the Iron Age fort of Ringdale, . It is the key to Faringdon's historic landscape setting and coral limestone architecture, mid-way between the chalk downs of the Ridgeway and the Upper Thames. The owner has been trying to turn the quarry into an industrial/ warehousing site for the past eight years. In order to avoid restoring it, it was used for storing imported sand and gravels until 2016. Four independent reviews have found that turning Wicklesham into an industrial site is unjustified and /or unsustainable (URS Ltd 2008 & 2013; VWH District Council Preferred Options Report 2009; Faringdon Neighbourhood Plan Sustainability Appraisal 2014). Faringdon Town Council has rejected every independent assessment, even those it commissioned itself, and the Neighbourhood Plan seeks to safeguard Wicklesham quarry as B2- B8 ‘employment land’. This means the landowner would be able to by-pass normal planning safeguards in order to develop the quarry, regardless of local objections. Supporters of the campaign to Protect Wicklesham Quarry from Development have challenged Faringdon Neighbourhood Plan’s use of evidence provided by local developers, on the grounds that it is inaccurate and misleading. We believe that the plan fails to meet the Basic Conditions.  The High Court has now granted permission for a Judicial Review of the Vale of White Horse District Council's decision to adopt Faringdon Neighbourhood Plan.  The second stage of Wicklesham Quarry's CrowdJustice Appeal will be launched shortly to raise additional funds.  Help me to protect this amazing, irreplaceable site before it's too late! Get in touch with any questions or comments by email to: protectwicklesham@gmail.com.  * Oxfordshire County Council has served Grundon Ltd with a Breach of Conditions Notice for failing to carry out the Restoration Scheme, and set a new deadline of 30th June 2017. The main photograph shows one of the ponds that has to be preserved as part of the Restoration Scheme.  For recent updates to the story of this campaign, please scroll down the page. 

Anna Hoare
712 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Mid Devon council

Copplestone: Stop More Houses at Dulings Farm

Help stop the building of approximately 60 houses with means of access on land to the east of Dulings Farm and Dulings Meadow (NGR 277744 102582).  It is vital we prevent the building of houses on this land because: - Since 2006 Copplestone has suffered a 60% increase in both population and housing with no improved infrastructure. It is now the size of a town with infrastructure that is only just village-worthy. - Education: such a large number of houses would create more huge strain on the village facilities, first and foremost, the school—which is already over-prescribed and is not able to expand further. - Highways & Road Safety: Copplestone sits on the busy and congested A377; as a result of this development, traffic congestion would largely increase and worsen the road safety issues in the village that have been largely neglected for years. Particularly, the 'walk to school' on Bewsley Hill, which features a busy, narrow junction with low visibility and no pavement for children or parents.  - Flood Risk: as a result of the already steep increase in housing in recent years, surface run off has increased hugely in the village; consequently, flooding in many residential areas has become a prevalent problem— this development would only exacerbate the flood risk. - The Land Itself: this development would destroy land used, appreciated and loved by the whole village; it would destroy valuable, arable and historic land; it would disrupt and destroy the strong natural population/habitats of the land, particularly the deer. The land for development lies outside the village boundary; this prompts the question, if this development is approved, when will it stop? More information is available on the planning application service website, here: https://planning.middevon.gov.uk/online-applications/Click on the red link above; click on the 'Advanced' search tab; enter the 'Application Reference': 17/00136/MOUT ; ignore the other boxes and click 'search'. This gives you the option to view the planning application, further information and make comments.  To make an objection please either make a comment on the planning application website, as above, or email devcon@middevon.gov.uk  . In all correspondence with the council on this issue you must quote the application reference: 17/00136/MOUT. We do not need more houses in Copplestone, especially not at such a price to the community. Please sign and share this petition to save Copplestone! 

Alice Fraser Edwards
170 supporters