road protests 1997
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Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 21:16:16 +0100
From: Road Alert!
Subject: Indexed message
Lyminge Forest SUPPORT NEEDED NOW
Eviction at Lyminge is now imminent and support is needed NOW.
All sorts of help are needed, no previous experience required
(although welcomed). The situation is VERY WINNABLE. Help us all
to WIN by saving a valuable PUBLIC access area, rich in WILD
LIFE, and to stop RANK from treating our natural heritage like
trivial landscaping for the unconcerned weekend holidaymaker.
If you don't know about the issues involved at Lyminge forest
please read the last section of this sheet first.
PEOPLE who care +
Photographers, Legal observers, Diggers, Climbers, Cookers,
Ranters, Healers and really nice people.
WISH LIST - Equipment URGENTLY required (In order of importance)
Karabiners (climing lock gates)
D-Locks (bicycle lock + key)
Chain (strong steel)
Cameras(video and film)
Rope (climbing and "poly prop")
Food (NO meat of any sort)
Tarpaulins, plastic sheets
If you can't make it to Lyminge send a donation from the wish
list or a cheque to
c/o Alan Kyte,
How to get there
Maps Grid Reference TR 141441
Ordnance Survey PathFinder 1231
Ordnance Survey LandRanger 189
>From Canterbury (Kent)
B2068 going south 9 miles to a BP garage at a crossroads,
turn left and continue until you see a Forestry Commission nature
Continue down the drive until you meet someone from the visitors
>From Junction 11 of the M20
Go four miles north on the B2068 until you come to a protester
or a BP garage at a crossroads, turn right and continue until you
see a Forestry Commission nature trail sign. Continue down the
drive until you meet some one from the visitors information tent.
>Train from Folkestone.
Arrive at Folkestone walk down the station approach past the taxi
rank and look for a bus stop with the Lyminge time table. Ask the
driver for the nearest stop to the BP garage near West Wood.
PLEASE, PLEASE HELP
Direct Camp Communication 0410 536 592 (Blue)
Lyminge Forest - Questions and Answers What is it?
(Written by Greensword. The spout house Lyminge Kent CT21 4LQ)
A very large up-market leisure development built on and directly
affecting over 1000 acres of 'officially protected' forest, wood
and farmland, forming part of the North Downs Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty. This area was afforded special protection by the
Countryside Commission on behalf of the department of the
Environment. The DoE has now bowed to commercial pressure and
reneged on that protection by giving Rank permission to send in
The development would take the form of an 'Oasis Village' the
size of a small town, designed to provide short holiday breaks
for over 4,000 guests and facilities for 700 staff at prices that
put them beyond the reach of most people who now visit and walk
in West Wood and who would no longer be allowed to do so.
It would involve the building of 350 waterside villas, 400
forest lodges, 90 studio apartments, staff accommodation, a large
village centre with shops, a restaurant, 'entertainment's' and
a 'sub-tropical waterworld', a waterside restaurant, a country
club and 9 hole golf courses, a reception and administration
block, parking for 3 400 cars and lorries and interconnecting
roads between all 850+ buildings.
The DoE claims to discourage 'green field' developments in the
countryside, especially in 'protected' areas and those that
require, encourage or create new road traffic.
There would be construction of over 20 acres of rubber-lined
lakes and waterways needing over 17.5 million gals. of water
(just to fill) weighing 88,000 tonnes. The maintenance of their
levels and the interconnecting water courses would consume over
100 000 gals/day and the village would use 'in excess of 220 000
East Kent is seriously short and getting shorter of water.
The extensive building development in West Wood would open-up
Sibton Wood, Park Wood, Beveridge Bottom Wood and farmland at
Mockbeggar to several thousand pairs of feet each week.
This according to Rank is a good example of sustainable
development. We say to Rank 'You must be joking'. What do you
Lyminge Forest (West wood) comprises 440 acres of maturing and
recently planted mixed woodland on forestry commission (now
privatised as 'Forest Enterprise') land. forming a large part of
All the forest is currently accessible to members of the public
who visit each year in the evenings and at weekends in pairs and
small groups all over Kent and SE London to walk and picnic in
its tranquil rides and open glades.
As the results of current Forestry Commission practice of
planting mixed deciduous and conifer woodland, the size and
location of Westwood and the rest of Lyminge Forest provides one
of the very few remaining refuges for an unusually rich diversity
of wildlife, some of it is quite rare and all of it under
increasing development pressure in the S.E. England: Westwood
also provides a green lung and open space for urban residents.
Westwood is still in public ownership but is due to be sold to
Rank for approx 4m ukp.
The Rank Organisation - Hard Rock Cafes to butlins - is one of
the largest holiday and leisure companies in Europe, and part of
its corporate development plan includes breaking into the
'Artificial village in a Forest' self-catering holiday markets
in the UK, currently dominated by Centre Parcs. The newly
appointed Chairman, ex-ICI boss Sir Denys Henderson, is
determined to out-do Centre Parcs with bigger and better 'Oasis
Villages' in more of the most beautiful and sensitive parts of
the English countryside. We have been warned Centre Parcs
maintain this markets is now almost fully catered-for and that
Rank are ill advised to proceed with the Westwood site, which
with others like, would form a separate profit-centre within the
Rank Organisation as part of its continuing expansion programme,
which includes the Whinfell Forest site near Penrith in Cumbria,
currently under construction.
Unlike Centre Parcs who were offered but turned down the
opportunity to bye Westwood and who prefer to site their
'villages on bare land on which they spend around £1m per site
planting with trees , Rank are taking advantage of the
Government's continuing raid on the Nation's family silver, which
obliges the Forestry Commission to sell woodland were it can.
Rank's policy that can only be described as the rape of the
Rank claim to have looked at over 70 other sites in Kent. all
of which they say are 'unsuitable' . Testing this clam at the
Public Inquiry last summer, the Countryside Commission, who
fiercely oppose Rank's plan, exposed the superficiality of Rank's
investigations and feeble reasons for turning down many of them.
The real reasons is that they want Westwood - come Hell or High
water (no water-shortage pun intended). One might have thought
that an example of good sustainable development practice would
be the restoration of a derelict or empty site though
tree-planting rather than the annihilation of a rich one. Giving
rather than taking. But that is not Rank's Way.
The price is right, and Rank cannot wait. with Shepway District
Council waving them on and Canterbury city Council not standing
in their way, who can blame them?
Because the direct loss of most of Westwood and the disturbance
to Sibton, park and Beveridge Bottom Woods and the farmland at
Mockbeggar would represent a severe environmental and ecological
impact. Kent is already over-developed for its area and
environmental significance and capacity to maintain regional
Rank display a profound ignorance of environmental and
ecological matters when they imply that Westwood was ruined by
the 1987 and 1990 storms, and they show a surprising degree of
arrogance and bad taste in saying that their holiday village
would improve the landscape.
How do Rank suppose Mother Nature has managed on her own without
them in Kent since the last Ice Age?
The Rank development would significantly increase noise, light
and disturbance levels in the area, by virtue of the weight of
numbers of people and road vehicles. Air pollution would increase
The additional strain on the area's water resources would put
the normal local supplies at great risk.
The large additional of sewage that would be dispatched to the
crude and inadequate existing coastal plant would further pollute
Shepway's inshore waters.
The thousands of Kent people who now enjoy the amenity of
Westwood in a way that results in insignificant disturbance to
its well-settled ecology , would be debarred from it. So while
Rank's 4,000 visitors and staff would be severely disturbing what
remained of Westwood, it would be Kents people who would
otherwise have visited Westwood who would be looking for an
alternative site, adding to the pressure there.
Its all a matter of scale and reasonableness. What is proposed
is out of kilter with the size and capacity of the place and the
flora and fauna that live there to absorb the effects without
serious damage- to say nothing of the local residents.
Rank's Oasis Village is an example of unsustainable development.
road protests 1997
| road protests (current)
| movement links