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Sunday, 19 February 2017

George Drive Ainsdale: more reasons not to destroy the native woodland.

The last OTS article, about One Vision Housing’s (OVH) controversial plans to destroy wildlife habitat/native woodland in George Drive Ainsdale for housing, has created a lot of attention.

One source (that currently wishes to remain anonymous) contacted me with the following claims that OVH/Sefton Council may possibly be 'legally prohibited' from destroying the woodland for the following reasons.

Our source stated:

“I believe that there can be no building , by way of structure or obstacles such as fencing within 8 metres of the boundary between Sefton and West Lancashire. This was brought to my attention by the Environment Agency when I rented a piece of land from Sefton Council and which bounded up to the Sandy Brook and the boundary with West Lancashire District Council.”

The source continued:

“Another avenue to be examined could be the flood restrictions which are taking place on the new development at Town Lane, if you care to look at the height that these new properties are being built at you can see they are significantly higher than the properties built by Brosley Development in the 1970's/80's, (how they ever got planning permission there is a mystery but that's another story). Apparently this is to do with any prospect of future flooding, so if it applies there (at Town Lane) then surely it must apply at the proposed development at George Drive.”

The Southport development at Kew is indeed one thorny issue that has also created controversy over the years. I highlighted the situation in 2012. 

Potential legal claims if OVH bulldoze ahead? 

The distinct possibility of development works creating expensive damage to existing properties has also been emphasised before. OVH may face costly legal battles should they rush into such unwise developments and later incur the calls for damage compensation for local homeowners. Naturally, Sefton Council could face similar legal claims should they continue to sit on the fence over the ongoing problems. 

Residents that have for years enjoyed a free view of the morning sun may also be considering that their basic quality of life will be affected by foolish OVH plans. Moreover, there is also the related threat to a devaluation of their properties subsequent to greater congestion and gridlock that comes with additional housing congestion. 

Nevertheless, these interesting points regarding the current threat to George Drive woodland will hopefully be taken into serious consideration by all parties (campaigners, politicians and developers etc) involved.

The ecologically-valuable woodland at George Drive must not be destroyed. OVH and the Council cannot just devastate our UK countryside at will. They must be held accountable for their actions.

The primary reasons of why NOT to wreck the area George Drive with congestion-creating development will ‘officially’ come down to the following…

Negative impact on the area / environment;

These are leading aspects that campaigners have of course highlighted before, but must continue to accentuate in order to save the woods.  

Native British woodlands like this one cannot just be flattened by cold-hearted authorities as they are vital to wildlife and beloved by local people who have cared deeply for such wild places since childhood. We are all stake-holders in the preservation of our wonderful British countryside. 

Pat Regan © 

Petition - will you sign to help the woodlands? 

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