I AM writing with reference to the further development of Barnfield Drive, this time the land around the Homebase site by Brookhouse Group.
Part of the proposal is to include new retail units and amazingly create over 400 new jobs! Quite how this will happen in a time where retail is under threat from all areas, such as rising fuel costs, rising rates, internet shopping and lack of consumer spending is a mystery. This, alongside a ‘new linear park’ will provide improved public access and landscape features. Sounds great, except the area in question is fine as it is, especially as it provides an essential habitat for thousands of birds which have already been displaced due to the continuing destruction of the Graylingwell site, together with other wildlife such as rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs etc. As usual, no thought is given to these creatures, which actually enhance any area; all the sheltering birds, for example, visiting nearby gardens to feed, thereby bringing a great deal of pleasure to residents. The area is also used by locals for walking, the very fact that it’s overgrown and wild being part of the attraction.
Before building new retail parks in any area, thereby destroying these few remaining green oases, existing empty retail units should be utilised first. For example, the Portfield Retail Park can’t fill all of its premises simply because businesses can’t afford it and there isn’t enough trade to sustain them. This shows that there simply isn’t the demand for such developments.
How are these companies allowed to continually build on these areas without any consideration to anyone or anything and eroding any remaining pockets of green land which bring pleasure and enhance the quality of daily life to many local people? I realise that this is being naive and it isn’t about quality of life at all but about some people making a great deal of money!