Watchdog asks Lords to rule on Bluestone development
Ecovillage Network UK
office at evnuk.org.uk
Thu Aug 25 18:33:46 BST 2005
As diehard Diggers will remember this is the enormous commercial
development allowed by the unelected Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
authority - at the same time that they Torned down Tony Wrench and Jane
Faith's sustainable roundhouse.
Appeal Court backs Bluestone plan - Wednesday, 20 July, 2005
abd letters to Western Telegraph below
Watchdog asks lords to RULE ON BLUESTONE. INDEPENDENT law expert lends
The Council for National Parks (1) has today announced that it is to ask
the House of Lords (2) to hear a final appeal on whether or not the
Bluestone holiday village (3) can lawfully be built in the Pembrokeshire
Coast National Park (4).
Mary Taylor, CNP’s Vice Chairman and lead Trustee in Wales, said “The
Trustees unanimously decided to ask the Law Lords to hear this appeal,
because the long term protection of all the National Parks in England
and Wales is in the public interest. Our case centres on the legality
of using the promise of local jobs to override environmental protection,
which is against the legal statutes set up by Parliament to protect
National Parks. We have been encouraged to take this step by our
members and local people who do not believe that a large-scale
development like Bluestone is justified in the countryside of the
National Park. Our postbag shows that plenty of people in Pembrokeshire
and in the rest of Wales want the Law Lords to look at this issue.”
Professor Malcolm Grant (6), a leading law academic, has offered his
support for CNP’s attempts to clarify the law surrounding major
developments in National Parks. He said “In my view this is a very
important public interest test case, and it needs to be heard by the Law
Lords. Planning law is meant to provide a structured approach to
planning decision taking, and to give certainty to developers and to the
public about what can and cannot be built. The Bluestone decision is in
danger of undermining the way the planning system is meant to work”.
Kate Ashbrook, CNP’s Chairman, said “CNP is doing what it was
established to do – fight for the protection of the National Parks. CNP
exists because legislation alone cannot provide sufficient environmental
protection for the National Parks. Bluestone is a real example of where
the protection system has broken down. And if Bluestone goes ahead, it
will set a precedent for similar developments to be approved in all
“We are exercising the democratic right of any organisation or
individual to challenge a planning permission. As there is no third
party right of appeal in England or Wales on planning approvals, the
courts offer the only avenue for us to pursue our challenge. We are
funding the appeal with money raised from supporters specifically for
this purpose, not with CNP core funds or taxpayers’ money.
“We are not trying to delay the start of the Bluestone development, but
to stop it altogether. The wheels of the legal justice system turn
slowly; but at each stage we have pressed for the case to be heard as
quickly as possible, so we have moved through the legal system faster
than the great majority of cases.
“CNP works across England and Wales at national, regional and local
levels, and our work is based on 70 years’ experience of working on
National Park issues. Our Council of membership comprises over 40
national and local organisations and individuals with a broad range of
interests, including conservation organisations such as the Woodland
Trust, user groups such as the British Mountaineering Council and land
owning organisations such as the National Trust. We have Trustees as
well as staff based in Wales, and we take advice from a special advisory
committee on Welsh issues. We have a track record of working with
businesses and government at the national and local level.
“For CNP the priority is to get the law on major developments in
National Parks straightened out once and for all, and that is what we
are asking the Law Lords to do.”
Notes to Editors
1. CNP is the national charity that works to protect and
enhance the National Parks of England and Wales, and areas that merit
National Park status, and promote understanding and quiet enjoyment of
them for the benefit of all.
2. CNP’s petition to the House of Lords has been lodged today.
3. The part of the Bluestone development in the Pembrokeshire
Coast comprises 340 timber lodges, a brand new “village”, sports club
and sewage-treatment works.
4. On 17 December 2004 the High Court judge Mr Justice Jack
held that the decision to grant permission for the Bluestone development
was lawful. The Court of Appeal dismissed CNP’s appeal against the High
Court’s judgment on 20 July 2005.
5. The Park Authority’s development control committee approved
the outline planning application on 28 January 2004.
6. Professor Malcolm Grant CBE is a barrister, an environmental
lawyer, academic and public servant. He is President and Provost – the
principal academic and administrative officer of University College
London – and was Professor of Land Economy and a Fellow of Clare
College, University of Cambridge (1991–2003) and was Head of the
Department of Land Economy (1993–2001) and Pro-Vice Chancellor
(2002–2003). He is an Associate Member of Landmark Chambers and
consultant editor of the Encyclopaedia of Planning Law and Practice.
Contact: Ruth Chambers, Head of Policy, 020 7924 4077 ext. 222 / 07769
LETTERS TO WESTERN TELEGRAPH
Park officers recommended Bluestone's refusal
DEAR EDITOR, - I read with interest the recent letters from David
Lort-Phillips and Miss A. Morris, attacking the stance of the Council
for National Parks over Bluestone.
I certainly do not wish to add fuel to the fire, but as a member of the
Friends of the National Park, may I point out that the decision to go
ahead with the development was taken against the advice of the National
Park Authority's own professional officers.
They strongly recommended that the application should be refused,
because of the damage it would cause to the National Park and of the
precedent that it would set and which could adversely affect both this
National Park and other National Parks of the UK.
GRAHAM MORGAN 20 Style Park Haverfordwest.
Persistent campaign by CNP `misconceived'
DEAR EDITOR, - Last week's letters for and against the ruling, (Mike
Shaw and Mary Sinclair respectively) focus on key issues of the role of
National Park, local democracy, economic development-v-conservation.
Mary Sinclair, as a local, has more right than most to give an opinion.
This is, above all, an issue to be settled by local planning process.
That is why, in my view, the persistent campaign by CNP (Council for
National Parks), costing both sides so much, has been so misconceived.
As a local, I agree with Mike Shaw and not Mary Sinclair. But I would
far rather hear the case against Bluestone from the latter rather than
from someone sitting in a remote office, obsessed with principle, but
woefully short of practical understanding of where in our backyard the
balance should be struck between conservation and economic development.
The National Park was created to conserve the coastline and inland
waterway. Part only of this project lies in an unspectacular arable
field a few hundred yards from the Park boundary and nowhere near any
coast. Its buildings, and, just as importantly, the traffic to and from
it will not have an adverse effect on the coast's essential glories. As
locals we see the truth of this every day.
Look on the bright side for Heaven's sake. Many visitors to Bluestone
will not only support the rural businesses which enhance the Park, but
may also enjoy its beauties so much they will wish to join Mike Shaw as
members of the Friends of the National Park.
DAVID LORT-PHILLIPS Knowles Farm, Lawrenny.
Eurotopia 2005: Guide to EuroEcovillages and Intentional Communities
Price £12.00 inside/£15.00 outside UK (inc. P&P)
UK Pounds Cheque/PO to 'Ecovillage Network UK' (see address below)
Our specialist contact point for the UK EcoVillage movement.
Register free on the UK PeopleFinder - http://www.peoplefinder.org.uk
ECOVILLAGE NETWORK UK (that's us!) - http://www.evnuk.org.uk
Populating the rhetoric of rural sustainability
Volunteers: Russ, Nikki, Tony, Pam, and Joyce
PO Box 1410, Bristol, BS99 3JP
Tel. 0117 373 0346
email: office at evnuk.org.uk
EVN-UK MAILING LIST: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ecovillageuk
Subscribe (approx. 1 post/2wks.): ecovillageuk-subscribe at yahoogroups.com
CHAPTER 7 - http://www.tlio.org.uk/chapter7/
The UK's Sustainable Rural Planning Campaign & planning office of 'The
Land Is Ours'
'The Land' magazine - 16-20pp. bi-yearly details from
The Potato Store, Flaxdrayton Farm, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13
email: chapter7 at tlio.org.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1460 249204
ECOVILLAGE GUIDE BOOKS - available (postage included) from
Mulberry House, 19 Maple Grove, Bath, BA2 3AF - 01225 484472
UK > 'Diggers and Dreamers' - Annual directory of UK Communities - £6.00
EUROPE > 'Eurotopia' - You can buy this from us (see above)!
COTTARS AND SQUATTERS > Reccommended: UK land rights history - £10.00
PERMACULTURE MAGAZINE - http://www.permaculture.co.uk/
Quarterly colour mag. for enquiring minds and original thinkers everywhere.
Hyden House Ltd, The Sustainability Centre, East Meon, Hampshire GU32
info at permaculture.co.uk
Tel. 01730 823311
DIGGERS AND DREAMERS - Searchable community database
Diggers & Dreamers, a UK guide to communal living for more than 10 years
c/o Edge of Time Ltd, BCM Edge, London, WC1N 3XX, UK
info at diggersanddreamers.org.uk
Tel. 07000 780536
WWOOF - http://www.wwoof.org/wuk0.html
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Join WWOOF, do some work, stay for free. Membership includes directory
PO Box 2675, Lewes, Sussex, BN7 1RB
fran at wwoof.org
PERMACULTURE ASSOCIATION UK - http://www.permaculture.org.uk
Supports individuals, projects and groups working with permaculture in
Third Floor Studios, 6 Carr Mills, 322 Meanwood Road, Leeds, West
Yorkshire, LS7 2HY
office at permaculture.org.uk
Tel/Fax: 07041 390170 and 0113 262 1718
GROUNDSWELL - http://www.groundswell.org.uk
Promoting and developing self-help initiatives with the homeless
U.K. COHOUSING NETWORK - http://www.cohousing.co.uk/
Sharing expertise and experience amongst the U.K. cohousing groups.
FOREST SCHOOL CAMPS - http://www.fsc.org.uk/about.htm
Camps for kids to get back to nature with the minimum of authority.
EUROPEAN FUNDING -
GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE NETWORK, EUROPEAN OFFICES - http://www.gen-europe.org/
Rosa-Luxemburgstr. 89, D-14806 Belzig, Germany - info at gen-europe.org -
0049 33841 44766
Ecovillage Office, Findhorn, The Park, Forres, Moray, Scotland IV36 0TZ
- ecovillage at findhorn.org - +44 (0)1309 690154
Minutes of meetings
European email list - post <euevforum at lists.gen-europe.org> - contact
webmaster at gen-europe.org
Download free & easy to use PGP encryption at http://www.pgpi.com
More information about the Diggers350