Green Belt and Braces

Now normally the Ladies of a Certain Age Assassins Club is nothing if not dedicated to the avoidance of serious subjects. The spirit of the club has evolved around an enjoyment of pulling the tail of the stuffy, and lampooning the self important.

The really serious stuff though – well we’re right there.

So that’s why I’m bringing to your attention a battle being fought on ancient English plains, right now. Every bit as bloody-minded, tough and committed as those who have fought to protect their land through the years, Middle England, and those riding hard on its flanks, are going toe to toe with greedy developers eyeing our Green Belt land.

The Green Belt is in Britain’s back yard. Whether you can see it from your bathroom window or have to get on a bus to enjoy the view, when it’s gone it’s gone – for everyone. That’s why pockets of resistance – like the plucky residents who make up http://www.mmaapp.co.uk – are waging war on Peel Holdings. This bloated corporate giant, still privately owned by a man who – guess what, lives on an offshore tax haven – has been optioning prime agricultural land. Land that is protected twice – one because it’s Green Belt and twice because its among the highest grade agricultural land – is in Peel Holdings’ sights for development. The plan is to simply concrete over between 120 and 170 acres of it….just for starters… in the historic hamlet of Melling, Merseyside. There are brownfield sites, but Green Belt is easier to deal with, no pesky site clearance to deal with. Cheaper, faster. Why wouldn’t they?

So where does the wildlife go when its home is compulsorily purchased? What happens to the people who’s homes will be swallowed up in a morass of concrete? And, when it’s a national priority to protect our food growing amenity – why on earth would we allow this. Well the guys at mmaapp are making a stand. I’m proud to be one of them. Is it in my backyard – yes. Am I also standing up for all the other Green Belt that isn’t. Yes. Help us by objecting to the council before its consultation period closes, August 8th. Details are on MMAAPP’s facebook page, just scroll down through the posts. Melling, Maghull and Aintree Against Peel Plan ‘mmaapp’. The group is about protecting all Green Belt, with a particular focus on the outrage suggested by Peel Holdings, whose Peel Logistics website – see ‘Switch Island’ site – is already marketing the land for industrial units. Act now or we’ll be leaving another sad legacy for our children. DM

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