PRESS RELEASE – Consultation or Con? – Our Future Fairlop Waters

Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA)

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PRESS RELEASE
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For immediate release                                                                                     21/7/2021

Consultation or con?

Jenny Chalmers (AHDA) has been attending the Fairlop Waters Phase 2 consultation on its regeneration for the last few weeks and at the last meeting on Monday 19th July was feeling very hopeful that the final vision statement appeared to put nature conservation and biodiversity first. After all it a Nature Reserve, as well as being a Country Park, a SINC and on Green Belt land. 

However, the next day Jenny wrote, “You can imagine my horror and despair when I went there and found two diggers ripping up the old golf course to make a huge, new car park. They have exposed the roots of some mature trees lining the entrance road, removed ancient hedgerow and destroyed this beautiful area of developing meadowland. 

I have not been able to find any planning permission for this activity or any environmental impact statement. It was not mentioned in the consultation and in fact most of us were in favour of better public transport links.  No-one mentioned creating another huge carpark and the vision was about reducing car use to here not increasing it!”

But of course this is the same Council who thought it would be ok to relocate the three main London Markets on Green Belt, who changed the boundary of Fairlop Waters so that they could say the Haul Road for Gravel Extraction wouldn’t run through it and who are quite happy to let the Gravel Extraction continue, closing well-used footpaths and filling the air with dust and noise. 

What next I fear? Theatres, music festivals? All fine in their place but not here! This is important Green Belt space that has kept many of us sane during the pandemic. 

All this public consultation – ‘Our Future Fairlop Waters’ was for nothing; they will do what they want anyway. They should be protecting Green Belt land and thinking long-term not getting caught up in short-term money-making schemes that destroy it. 

Because of interventions by AHDA, London Wildlife Trust and concerned residents the work has been halted – for now. AHDA are asking questions and remain unconvinced of the reasons this has been done and whether there is a hidden agenda.

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Notes:
– No consultation with primary stakeholders has taken place.
– No evidence in the ‘Our Future Fairlop Waters’ Phase 1 consultation of a need for increased parking facilities.

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