Topic

environment

926 petitions

Update posted 4 hours ago

Petition to Damien Egan

Protect the open green space at the junction of Duncombe Hill and Brockley Rise SE23 1QY

The open space at the junction of Duncombe Hill and Brockley Rise SE23 1QY is a small pocket of green along a busy main road which has been accessible to, and used by, the public for many years. It is home to a willow tree, a sycamore tree, a Norway maple tree and 3 x crab apple trees. These mature trees are currently protected by a provisional tree preservation order (TPO) dated 9 November 2018, which prohibits anyone from carrying out work to the trees without Lewisham Council's consent. The TPO is provisional for a 6 month period and is due to expire on 9 May 2019 unless it is confirmed by the Council. The Council made the provisional TPO because "the trees are visually prominent, being located on the triangular green open space at the road junction of Duncombe Hill with the busy Brockley Rise. The trees form a visually interesting and attractive grouping with differing crown shapes and foliage colours and contribute significantly to the public realm. The trees are considered to be at risk from future development." Over the weekend of 26/27 January 2019, a large, unsightly green fence was erected, enclosing the trees and the land on which they stand and blocking off public access to the green space. This took place without any prior notice and without planning permission, despite the fact that the fence is significantly over 1 metre high and adjoins a road that vehicles use. The erection of the fence therefore breaches local planning controls. The weekend's events have also given rise to a concern within the community that the owner of the land, a property investment company, has intentions to develop the land, although no formal application has yet been made. The community strongly agrees with and supports each of the reasons given by Lewisham Council when making the provisional TPO, as set out above. Whilst we understand that the 28 day period for raising comments in relation to the TPO has lapsed, until this weekend's events took place the community was not aware that the land in question had been purchased by a property investment company and that it is, therefore, at risk of development. Indeed, many within the community were under the impression that the land is owned by Lewisham Council, as they know it as an open space that has always been accessible to and used by the public. The purpose of this petition is to demonstrate to Lewisham Council the strength of feeling within the local community that this green, open space and the trees that stand on it should continue to be protected from development. We ask Lewisham Council to: 1. Take immediate steps to remove the unsightly fence that was hastily erected without permission and therefore in breach of local planning controls. 2. Confirm the TPO, without modification, to provide permanent protection to the trees on the land. This petition will be sent to Lewisham Council's Planning Department.

Nicola Johnson
4,923 supporters
Update posted 8 hours ago

Petition to Councillor Phil Davies Wirral Borough Council

Say NO to a Golf Resort and Housing Development in West Wirral - SAVE OUR GREEN BELT!

Wirral Council is proposing to override planning policy to allow a private developer to build a golf resort and luxury housing estate on a huge 295 acres of Green Belt Land between Hoylake, West Kirby and Meols. The development includes a 90 bed -  hotel, conference facilities  and spa, 2 golf courses and clubhouses, a links academy, large car park, a new link road, maintenance buildings and, so far, 160 luxury houses and 40 luxury apartments (all Band H). It is clear that this is, in fact, a Green Belt Housing Development with the “smokescreen” of a Golf Resort attached! This would set a VERY DANGEROUS PRECEDENT for development on Green Belt Land. Already a developer has submitted plans for a further housing estate in West Kirby adjacent to the proposed Golf Resort! There are other submissions for Green Belt Land in Greasby and Saughall Massie and across the Wirral. THE PREFERRED DEVELOPER HAS A DUBIOUS TRACK RECORD The “Nicklaus” Joint Venture Group (NJVG) is actually a group of developers from South Wales. Jack Nicklaus is not a director but he will be paid a massive fee for designing the golf course. The NJVG has a dubious track record, including a bankruptcy and failing to deliver a promised Hilton Hotel at their previous “resort” development in Llanelli. However they did build 175 executive homes on the site - they then put their housing construction company into liquidation owing over £1million to local businesses. Their other company, which sold the houses, was not affected by the bankruptcy. To date, the promised hotel in Llanelli ,and all the associated jobs and tourism, have failed to materialise.  Despite the Developers record, the Council plan to lend  £26million of public money to this Developer to fund the development! PLANNING & FINANCE The development contravenes planning policy. Once planning permission is approved for the Golf Resort Houses, then more houses could be built on Wirral's Green Belt.. Wirral Council is undertaking millions of pounds of cuts to essential services and the say they have no money to fund the rebuilding of New Ferry Town Centre following a devastating explosion. The Council have already spent £237,000 on the resort.  In December 2017 they committed to spending a further £600,000 of Council Tax Payers money to undertake surveys and studies ON BEHALF OF A PRIVATE DEVELOPER who then stands to make a massive profit from a luxury housing estate. This spending may not be the last that we are asked to pay for! With satff costs and other hidden /non disclosed costs it is estimated they may have spent between £1million and £2million already. Consultants’ reports have stated that the resort IS NOT FINANCIALLY VIABLE without the enabling housing development. In 16 years of trying to promote this resort, the Council has not been able to find a developer until the luxury housing estate was added to the plan. After the tender exercise, all the developers pulled out apart from NJVG. ENVIRONMENT The site is on bio-diverse farmland which is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora, including species of national and international importance. Golf courses are highly mechanised and intensively managed with high volumes of water, pesticides and fertilizers. The proposed course is an American-style parklands resort which will be exactly the wrong kind of habitat for the species which currently use the area as an undisturbed refuge. INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRAFFIC The housing development and resort would have an impact on local infrastructure and services (such as schools and GP surgeries). The new Hoylake By-pass will significantly increase traffic from the M53 through Saughall Massie and put pressure on the surrounding area. The developer will not be funding this By-pass - the Council are to seek grant funding or will use the profits from selling the land - for a By-pass that is only being built because the land is being sold! The Council propose to spend £16.6 million constructing the new road and upgrading the surrounding roads to enable the new resort and housing estate. FLOODING The site is on the River Birket Floodplain. Over recent years, we have been reminded time and time again of the perils of building on flood plains. Surface water run-off from the large paved areas of the development (car parks, road, large roof areas and the housing estate) will increase flood risk for Meols and Moreton. CONSULTATION Wirral Council has undertaken only a weak public consultation exercise. Of the 1400 responses that the Council received, 1311 were either opposed or had concerns. Wirral Council has not consulted the community about alternative options for the site. JOBS AND TOURISM Wirral Council states that the resort would promote tourism and provide just 170, mostly low paid, low skilled jobs. We already have plenty of golf Courses on the Wirral. The tourism case is not proven and 5 star resorts are designed to keep tourists “in resort”. The hotel and spa would be a competitor to the businesses in West Kirby, Hoylake, Meols and beyond. The golf resort would be a competitor to many of the hotels, leisure facilities and golf courses in the area, some of which are already struggling. A recent Council Visitor Study revealed that over 90% of visitors come to the Wirral for the Coast, Countryside, Parks and gardens. Just 0.2% visit for golf! The Council have probably spent at least £1million so far, combined with the £16.6 million for the roads, that equates to an investment / cost to the public of over £100,000 per job! HOUSING Wirral needs affordable houses, not Band H houses that most can not afford. There is space for 18000 houses on Brownfield sites on the Wirral. There is no need for houses on the Green Belt. ALTERNATIVES Wirral has an outstanding natural heritage, with fantastic country parks and coastline. We should be enhancing what is unique to Wirral and already brings many tourists to the area. The RSPB has membership of over 1 million and is growing. Golf club membership is 700,000 and declining. An alternative use of the site could be an eco-resort with Martin Mere Style wetlands centre.  Martin Mere supports many jobs, boosts the local economy and has 200,000 visitors per year http://www.wwt.org.uk/news/all-news/2015/04/wwt-martin-mere-news/martin-mere-worth-millions-to-local-economy/ The Widfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) are proposing to undertake a Feasibilty Study into an alternative wetlands resort. The feasibility study would cost just £10k but the Council are refusing to fund the study. Investment in jobs and tourism in sustainable projects such as an eco-resort or the Wirral Docklands would provide significantly better outcomes in terms of employment, housing, regeneration and tourism – without destroying OUR PRECIOUS GREEN BELT. This petition is intended to show the Council the extent of the local communities’ opposition to its outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money pursuing its “vanity” golf resort and green belt housing development. This is an ill-thought out project, it has unfounded benefits to the people of Wirral and huge negative impacts which would destroy the beautiful character of the area!  ONCE THE GREEN BELT HAS GONE – IT HAS GONE FOREVER!  

Stop Hoylake Golf Resort
6,533 supporters
Update posted 11 hours ago

Petition to Michael Gove

Save Britain’s ancient Yew trees before we lose any more

Britain’s most ancient trees are in danger and we urgently need to protect them. We have the largest collection of ancient Yew trees on earth, including some considered to be among the oldest trees of any kind on the planet. Some are over 5,000 years old. They are incredibly precious and a vital part of our heritage - but we are gradually losing them one by one as they currently have no legal protection. This must urgently change. I’ve been enchanted by yew trees, known as immortal giants, ever since I first came across one over 40 years ago. I’ve spent years studying them, writing about them, and campaigning for their protection. Over 500 ancient Yew trees have been destroyed since the Second World War. Two years ago I was heartbroken when I went to check on a yew tree in the Welsh town of Penegoes, only to find it chopped down into pieces and stacked waiting to be turned into firewood. For thousands of years the yew was considered sacred across Britain. They are a living connection with our past. Having survived for so long, the prospect of losing them now is unimaginable. There are approximately 157 ancient Yew trees - aged over 2,000 years - across the UK. The vast majority are in churchyards, which puts the trees at great risk as the church declines and church land is sold off. Currently the only recourse is to go through the long and difficult process of getting a Tree Protection Order, which would mean if the trees were destroyed by a developer, the developer would have to pay a small fine. In parts of Europe, trees of just a few hundred years of age are protected by far greater fines of around 50,000 Euros. Currently there is no legal protection for these beautiful trees. It’s urgent that we protect this vital part of our heritage with specific legal protection before we lose any more. These Yew trees have been a part of Britain for thousands of years. They are our ancient living monuments, our ancient living witnesses to the history of our ancestors and our civilisation. We must protect them as a matter of urgency before any more are lost. Please sign my petition calling for our ancient Yew trees to be protected by law. A list of ancient yew trees can be found at: http://www.janisfryart.co.uk/ancient_yew_tours.htm#yew

Janis Fry
206,358 supporters
Update posted 11 hours ago

Petition to UK Government

Declare a national climate emergency now!

We are facing a climate catastrophe. Leading scientists have warned that we have 12 years to take emergency action on climate change, or we face the gravest threats to our local and global environment. This includes worsening risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. We must act urgently, starting by immediately declaring a national climate emergency. If we let global warming go beyond 1.5°C, coral reefs will be completely eradicated, populations of insects that pollinate plants will be decimated, and ice-free summers in the arctic will be commonplace. I was part of the campaign in Machynlleth, Wales, that got our local council to be one of the first in the UK to declare a Climate Emergency. All across the country, and indeed all over the world, people are calling on their councils to follow suit.  Humankind is at a crossroads. Now it is time for our elected representatives in Westminster to act by declaring a nationwide Climate Emergency.   Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. But it’s not too late. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible - but it requires ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. In order to avert climate disaster, we are calling on the government to: 1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ now. 2. Halt fossil fuel expansion and fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 and begin to support the roll-out of clean renewable energy technologies immediately. 3. Ensure current and future policies are consistent with averting climate change and preventing ecological collapse. 4. Support the rapidly emerging climate action plans and resilience initiatives throughout the country. 5. Reduce carbon emissions to net zero no later than 2030. Please sign my petition calling on the UK Government to declare a climate emergency and take urgent action to avoid a climate disaster for all of us, and for generations to come.

Ariana Jordão
122,299 supporters