From the letters page of the Bournemouth Echo (4th July 2012)

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/yoursay/letterstotheeditor/9796813.Aim_is_to_protect_greenbelt_land/

In answer to Mr Cole’s accusations of West Parley residents’ NIMBYism (Letters, June 28), I think they are displaying quite the reverse.

These people share a much wider view, a view that stretches far beyond their backyards – they are making a stand for this county and this country at large.

The homes proposed for this site will never be “for their children”. This plan once again boils down to profit and will probably include yet another supermarket, all to be built on greenbelt land – land that was set aside to prevent Bournemouth turning into another endless urban sprawl.

This greenbelt is a buffer for fragile heathland – a habitat that is precious in this country as we have already lost 80 per cent of it and it never fares well when ‘cheek by jowl’ with high density housing.

You ask them to use common sense. I ask you, where is the common sense in adding a further 520 households to an area that cannot cope with the traffic it already has passing through it?

The infrastructure isn’t there; the local doctors’ surgeries, schools and other vital services are already at or over full capacity.

We are coming to a tipping point where a serious debate needs to be held.

Do we want England to remain a “green and pleasant land” or do we just concrete over the whole lot? When do we decide to stop development? Once greenbelt is lost, it’s gone for good. Maybe we should redevelop the many boarded-up and empty shops and offices before building over our beleaguered countryside.

It’s simply not good enough to say “live with it – it’s happening everywhere”. The English countryside is a precious commodity that deserves to be treasured and if it takes NIMBYism to achieve that, then I’m proud to be a NIMBY!

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