Response to proposed Marshcroft Development from Chiltern Society

Living Magazines Chiltern Society

Thank you very much to Tom Beeston, Chief Officer at the Chiltern Society, for supplying his thoughts and response to a letter received from Harrow Estates, part of Redrow Group.

Further details and information on the meetings can be found here in an update from Chiltern Countryside Group

Dear Scott,

First thank you for holding the consultation. I thought I would ping you my first thoughts so you may have some answers when I drop in next Friday at 3pm.

Is it possible to build on a biodiverse meadow/grassland habitat and then achieve a 10% biodiversity net gain?

I speak not as a planner but as a layman with extensive meadows, environmental and conservation experience. To be blunt it’s an oxymoron, despite what developers and civil servants may have come up with.

My understanding is there are enough brown field sites in the UK to meet our short-to-medium-term housing needs.

Given our wildlife has declined by around 50% in as many years can you assure me Redrow has exhausted all possibilities of building on its own and other brown field sites in the UK?

One of the largest conservation projects in Tring at present is on the Wendover Arm Canal. Not only will this be good for wildlife but also provide many other benefits for the community.

Would Redrow commit to finishing this project (along with others) in addition to what they have to pay out to meet their commitments to government and biodiversity net gain?

Isn’t the Dacorum local plan on hold, with one of the main reasons being there was an over development in Tring?

Have I missed something? I’m not convinced the infrastructure of Tring can cope, transport, water, sewage, community or wildlife. Can you convince me otherwise?

Can you define affordable housing, in my world that’s housing for someone on an income of £25,000 or less?

Again that may not be the case for developers and civil servants, but it is the case for real people on the ground.

A plan and commitment to donating a significant percentage of houses to a local charity like DENS (a local homeless NGO) may convince me and others. Would you do that?

On transport, given the size of this development could you expand further and explain how those working in neighbouring towns such as Chesham will really be improved?

I live in Tring but cannot reasonably get to our neighbouring town Chesham on Public Transport – I’m not fit or brave enough to cycle.

Once I look past the well-crafted words in your plans what I see is how you will improve the P&L and Balance Sheet for the Redrow Group, and little more.

What hard evidence can you provide to change my mind?

As a 56-year-old resident of Tring and who works to protect our community, environment and wildlife, how is this going to make my life better?

Tom Beeston
Chief Officer at the Chiltern Society

Campaigning for, Conserving and Promoting the Chilterns: see what we do here!