Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Please write to Eric Pickles MP

The Secretary of State will be making his decision known about the Coate planning appeal on of before 3 April 2012. Please write to him now. Email: Sample letter:

Rt Hon Eric Pickles
Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London SW1E 5DU

Dear Mr Pickles

Re: Planning Appeal No: APP/U3935/A/11/2155834      
Land at Dayhouse Lane, Coate, Swindon.

Your planning inspector, Geoffrey Hill, will be completing his report of the Planning Inquiry held in November 2011. I support Swindon Borough Council's reasons to refuse planning permission for building on the appeal site and hope that you will too. The countryside at Coate and Badbury Wick is greatly valued and significant for many reasons that include the following:
- the landscape setting of Coate Water Country Park and Site of Special Scientific Interest
- the views from Liddington Hill and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- the recreational value of Dayhouse Lane (a peaceful country lane) for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and joggers who use it as a gateway to the downs
- the inherent wildlife importance of Dayhouse Copse, ancient trees, hedges, bat roosts, badger setts and otter streams
- the literary associations of internationally renowned Richard Jefferies
- the archaeological quality of the area that dates back to pre-history
- the agricultural quality of the land - 22% is grade 2/3a, best and most versatile farmland
- the views from the Great Western Hospital that help aid recovery.
Over 52,000 people signed  a petition asking Swindon Council to protect this prized
corner of Swindon. The environmental, historic and literary value of the appeal site far outweighs any benefits that more housing, offices and industrial units can offer. The planning application provides nothing special. It is not a sustainable development, it is premature and will set a precedent for infill development around Coate Water Country Park.
Please dismiss the appeal lodged by Swindon Gateway Partnership.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely

1 comment:

Jefferies Land Conservation Trust said...


I write in support of the Richard Jefferies Land Conservation Trust campaign to protect Jefferies’ Land from proposed development. I have been researching Richard Jefferies for eight years and during this time his name has risen increasingly to the fore in academic and wider circles. I am currently completing a Doctorate on his works and have found his words to be a rich and rewarding area of study, and I am well acquainted with the landscape around Coate which was his homeland. Of all the writers who I have worked on during my career Jefferies’ close affinity with his native landscape has been the most striking and compelling to study. As you may have read, Jefferies’ was a unique voice during an age when rural life was in a state of change, and often, conflict, with the wider world. Processes of Industrialisation threatened to alter traditional ways of life and Jefferies was perhaps the only writer in Wiltshire to give voice to rural populations, in particular the agricultural labourer. As a man he had a keen sense of justice and strove to try and better the lot of mankind. In this respect he was far more than an average ‘nature writer’; he was ambitious, daring, but above all he was able to express an unusually profound sense of connection with the landscape where he grew up, and which remained a constant source of inspiration to him for the rest of his life. As this landscape now faces potential threat I feel it is my duty to voice my concerns that were the development to go ahead it would be a great loss for future generations not to see and experience the landscape in a way that Jefferies once did. Jefferies left a written legacy of the outdoors, but his ambition was always to get people out into the countryside and experience it for themselves. How will this be possible for the people of Swindon once the Coate landscape succumbs to the fate of so many other ordinary landscapes? I appeal to you to consider that an alternative site could be found for this development and to preserve the legacy of Jefferies’ Land.

Yours faithfully,
Rebecca Welshman

Research Fellow
Department of English
University of Exeter