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From: "Pete!!!" (
Subject: Save our paradise. Meeting 1/10/98
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 22:23:36 +0100

River Irlam / Jerry Works plans passed (Salford)

Save our paradise. Meeting 1/10/98


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[letter from Joyce Delaney]

The Planning Committee met Thurs, 1st October 1998, at Swinton Town Hall. At this time no workers were able to attend, in fact only three objectors were able to attend, myself, my son (Anthony Delaney) and Gordon Ashton. People without cars couldn't attend.

I was allowed to speak, and I asked whether application for footpaths took precedence over planning. I was given a rather vague answer, I was told to look at the plans on the wall, and I would see that there were footpaths on the plans. I said "I don't mean new footpaths, I mean original footpaths". Then it seemed to be suggested that they could move footpaths, for instance the footpath on top of the hill could be lowered perhaps about 5 metres, which of course means demolishing the hill.

The other point I raised was that every meeting I've been to, it was said by the councillors that the number of dwellings would be reduced to 200 instead of 346. But at this planning committee meeting, the 346 number remained. A vote was taken and with only one abstention, the committee passed the plans, at least one labour councillor did vote in favour, I know this for sure. This is a complete disgrace, they should be ashamed to call themselves labour.

A labour council under a labour government to do this is shocking. I really couldn't believe it had happened. I couldn't believe it, that 346 houses were to be crammed onto our beloved Jerry Works, there was nothing I could do, the three of us decided to leave.

On the way out I held out a very large picture of the river and Jerry Works (157K), and showed it to the assembled company. I turned to Gordon and said "England's green and pleasant land, the land you fought for, mate, was it worth it?".

He replied "No." And we left.

Is it worthwhile continuing with this footpaths petition? because they kept us waiting for ten months without replying and when they did reply, they told us that we needed ten more witness statements and that they had to be done in a more specific manner. This isn't easy for someone who isn't a geography specialist. This is not my subject. They are not making it very easy for us as you can see, however I really think that if I did proceed with the footpaths application I think that they would still divert/misfile/misplace/sit on* them in some way and that we wouldn't achieve much by it, except it may delay things a bit. (I have now found someone else to deal with the footpaths.)

Another point is there is a global recession, it could affect our country seriously and one wonders whether a builder would be stupid enough to build all these houses at this time. Lets hope he's got more sense.

We are awaiting a reply from John Prescott, I think he will reply eventually. If he doesn't I've finished with labour. It'll be a case of LibDems here I come! On the previous Thursday 24th Sept, at 12.10 pm, quite a few of the councillors and quite a lot of people attended a walkabout around the site, mostly they were retired people as this was also a working day. I spoke to a number of people who had had the courage (and energy) to turn up to this, found out where they came from. Everyone was against it. One lady was a nature specialist. I have names and addresses of some of these people, and I was going to approach them about the footpaths, but I'm wondering whether to try a different tack, contact them and arrange to meet, and work out a plan of action.

My other son (Peter) has some video footage of the site (in fact, the colour jpegs you received came from one of the video recordings made in May of this year. We were thinking of sending a compilation of some of these tapes to either (or both) ITV or the BBC, maybe they would edit and show it as an amateur video, that could get a lot of publicity.

One more thing, only one member of the planning committee lives in Irlam, so they are destroying our landscape, dumping soil etc, and the don't have to put up with it themselves. They don't even know the site, its beautiful, but they don't know it, they haven't seen it.

I did find it encouraging that you took enough interest to reply to us and that most protests take place after planning permission has been granted, but to me it does seem to be rather late in the day to protest, once its been granted, because I've been told that once its granted you can't appeal against it. But an appeal was sent before the planning committee met, to John Prescot and Tony Blair.

Peel Holdings propose to burn the vegetation, and flatten the hill and the rest of the land and cram their houses in. Once this vandalism has been done, our fight is over, nothing further can be done, once its gone it can never be returned. Paradise will be lost and never regained

Perhaps this could be labour's re-working of "Jerusalem", which they now sing at conferences, retitled "An Urban Sprawl":

"......I will not cease from mental fight,
       Nor shall my wallet rest in my hand,
       'till we have built an urban sprawl,
       On England's green and pleasant land....."

I have now decided on a last ditch stand. I'm hoping to organise a procession of ex-servicemen, scouts, band and anyone who that agrees with our aim, to save the land for the people. We may be able to get a TV company to send a camera team in to film the event. If word got out then I'm sure that the people who have previously not bothered to show up would be interested. I expect I'll get more ideas as time goes on. I could put posters up in the Doctor's surgery or possibly the Post Office.

We've got about 3 weeks, before the land is destroyed.

Yours sincerely

Joyce Delaney

* Delete as appropriate


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