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From: "SchNEWS"
To: "SchNEWS Subscribers"
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 16:14:04 +0000
Subject: SchNEWS 148, 19 December 1997

Peacehaven, Stevenage, & the Green Belt

According to present trends, a projected 4.4 million new households will be created in the UK by the year 2016. The Department of the Environments 1996 Housing Green Paper says that this increase "if met in the simplest way - using greenfield sites - would result in wholly unacceptable environmental damage." Schemes of up to 10,000 houses are currently being pushed through the planning offices of Britain while the Empty Homes Agency estimate that around 860,000 homes lay vacant. ... One such site, Peacehaven Valley, to the east of Brighton, is the last remaining stretch of undeveloped land on the coast between Newhaven and Littlehampton. Modwen Properties Ltd., based in Birmingham, have successfully applied for planning permission to build 113 houses. Local residents have compiled a 14,000 signature petition but an enquiry has still found in favour of the development. Tony Howard, the leader of Peacehaven Town council, has said he would welcome people taking direct action to defend the site if it came to it. "The valley has so many owners that if a court order was obtained to remove protesters, they would only have to move a matter of feet and the whole process would have to start all over again".

Over in Stevenage campaigners are fighting the largest destruction of Green Belt in the UK - the scheme for 10,000 houses would mean a new town the size of Hitchin.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) have set up a new unit to raise awareness and help co-ordinate campaigns to stop the sprawl. Dr. Simon Festing, FoE is Housing Campaigner, said "The government cannot ignore this looming environmental disaster, and must review its housing policies now or face mounting public criticism."

*  `Halt Greenbelt Housing' conference is to be held on Saturday 17th January 1998, hosted jointly by Friends of the Earth and Alarm UK. The venue is 356 Holloway Road, London N7, and there will be a fee of #15 to help cover costs. More details ring Paula Smith on 0171 566 1670.

*  The Campaign Against Stevenage Expansion (CASE) can be contacted at (01483) 315210, Dyes Farm, Langley, Herts SG4 7PQ.

*  `This Land Is Our Land' by Marion Shoard (Gaia) One reviewer called this "the best book I have read on land and the politics of ownership"

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