Photo courtesy and copyright © James D. Trolinger
Flitwick Moor is under threat!
Top Green Party priority in Bedfordshire now is protecting Flitwick Moor from housebuilding along Maulden Road, Flitwick. Flitwick Moor is the county's most important wildlife site. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) of national, and probably international, importance.
The victories so far have been won under the round of planning decisions that was due to have been completed in 2005. Dangers now come from the current round of planning decisions, including the 'Regional Spacial Strategy' imposed by Labour at a regional level. For Mid Beds Council to continue to successfully defend the Moor, it is vital that councillors are elected that can be relied upon to put the environment ahead of big business. Green Party candidates are a safer bet than members of a party funded by big business, like the Conservatives or LibDems.
Why is Flitwick Moor important?
The habitat at Flitwick Moor is unique in Bedfordshire and extremely rare anywhere in the world, because it consists of both acid bog and alkaline fen in close proximity as well as a variety of wet deciduous woodland plus some open water. It is home to large numbers of mammals, birds, amphibeans, insects and other invertebrates, many of them rare. It holds over 200 species of flowering plants and over 100 species of ferns, mosses and liverworts.
What is the problem?
All these species are very sensitive to the level and purity of groundwater, which will inevitably be upset by any nearby building or drainage work. Many of them are also very sensitive to human disturbance, which would inevitably increase enormously if the proposed development goes ahead. The whole site would also be under threat of over-use and inappropriate use by the proximity of any substantial housing development.
You can learn more about Flitwick Moor by following these links:The Greensand Trust
Who are the develpers?
David Wilson Homes who are part of Wilson Bowden plc.
Wilson Bowden House,
Their environment policy is at http://www.dwh.co.uk/environment.html
It is hard to see how building on the site next to Flitwick Moor would meet their claim "we have a responsibility to protect and care for the environment - and we take our responsibilities seriously."
What do others say?
Patrick Hall, Labour MP for Bedford used his column in the Bedford Times and Citizen on 26th May to support the Government policy of housebuilding in Mid Beds, arguing that it would give "affordable housing" (yet there is no special requirement for affordable housing among these tens of thousands of houses, beyond any normal requirements), and that it was an "opportunity to set high environmental standards".
What does the Green Party say?
Affordable housing can be found by getting empty homes back into use (there are more empty homes than homeless people). Affordable housing can be found by converting some of the empty office blocks to flats, by having people live in the empty rooms above shops and by splitting some of the large properties in the villages into flats, when they come on to the market.
The only way to set high environmental standards is to keep the protection for Flitwick Moor.
Getting better environmental standards in our buildings is important, but it isn't an excuse for covering Bedfordshire with suburban sprawl.
Produced by Jim Fisher, 48 Swifts Green Close, Luton, Beds., LU2 8BS
on behalf of Luton and Bedfordshire Green Party, 13 Wedgwood Road, Bedford, MK41 7NW.
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