Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Green Wedge Saved

This morning Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, published his decision on the appeal and public inquiry of the Whitwick Green Wedge made by William Davis and Jelson Homes.

I am delighted to say that Mr Pickles, on the advice of the independent inspector, rejected the appeal and thereby preserved the historic open space.

The two developers had sought permission to build 1,500 homes on the Green Wedge as part of their masterplan to develop a community without a sense of community called 'Stephenson Green'.

But whilst the developers sought to override all involved the people of Whitwick mobilised.

Led by a small group of dedicated and passionate residents the Whitwick Action Group, or WAG as it became known, organised themselves with a single focus - to save the Green Wedge.

WAG drummed up support, organised poster campaigns, raised funds for expert consultants and perhaps most importantly became open space planning experts in their own right!

The work WAG have done has been instrumental in this success.

Whilst I am very proud to say that every local Labour politician, both district, parish and the late David Taylor, worked with WAG (as did those of other parties) - it is not any us that deserve plaudits today.

A huge well done must go to WAG and the people of Whitwick who fought tirelessly.

As a final step the developers now have 6 weeks to appeal Mr Pickles decision to the High Court, which they may well do, but for now local people and the WAG steering group in particular can celebrate and take a well earned rest.

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