1,000 homes and the rest of the Middlewick will still be a training ground and there may be additional regulations put in about dog walking infringements.
In the 1960s the town wasn’t gridlocked why? Fewer vehicles of course, then like today someone had a “Vision” Greenstead, Whitehall industrial est, Severals lane, Highwoods. Just a few examples of their vision and strategy, it must end somewhere?
For example the land developed on by the MOD
– Lethe Grove
– Friday Wood Green
– Cherrytree estate was open fields. Cherrytree school area was an old wooden Army camp with fields surrounding it.
– Restricted access to abbey fields. Abbey fields was a hospital with land and fields
– Cavalry road
– The wick – Soon to be built on.
– Solus – wherein 2012 its residents described it as a “ghost estate” saying the area was so badly neglected by local authorities they were considering withholding their council tax.
And just to add flames to the fire Bloor now have a large sign up opposite the Lidl in Gosbeck Rd, informing us that a new housing estate is to go up on what is a pleasant, open Greenfield site. This, of course, is just the thin end of the wedge and we feel soon in a decade or so the concrete disease will spread in that part of Colchester too.
Looking at the other MoD sites that released at the same time as Middlewick. None of the others appears to be contentious registered county or local wildlife sites (LoWS).
RAF Henlow (Bedfordshire) – not LoWS
Middlewick Ranges (Essex) – LoWS
Amport House (Andover) – not LoWS
Land at Harley Hill (Catterick) – not LoWS
Chalgrove Airfield (Oxford) Transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency – not LoWS
Colerne Airfield (Chippenham) – not LoWS
Azimghur Barracks (Chippen- ham) – ditto
Prince William of Gloucester Barracks (Grantham) – not LoWS Old Dalby (Melton Mowbray) – not LoWS
Venning Barracks (Telford) – not LoWS
Parsons Barracks (Donnington) – not LoWS
Southwick Park (Fareham) – not LoWS
Royal Marines Stonehouse (Plymouth) – not LoWS
Having disused buildings on them and concrete strips, etc. and possibly be classed as Brownfield, none of them is exactly like our Wick, a LoWS site.
If all these developments (especially Middlewick) are allowed Colchester will very, very soon become one massive spread of concrete and awful lego houses with poor to very poor infrastructure and no natural open spaces left for the public to enjoy. What happened to all the waffle about green issues and making Colchester a better place to live with projects such as the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project. Instead, we’re left here guessing the push to be recognised as Britains First City is trying to catch up to something that never was and can not be done sympathetically to its indigenous roots, instead of materialising as a rushed poorly constructed unnatural concrete slab.
Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project on hold?
Yet, the annual Trees for Years giveaway, where Colchester Borough Council gives away free trees to its residents, usually taking place in February each year, offers a helping hand to green-up peoples gardens and the borough. Last year, the give- away event was extended as part of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project and ten thousand native trees, shrubs and fruit bushes were given out.
This year will mark the 15th year of the event, and plans are to give away 15,000 trees, shrubs and fruit bushes in celebration.
But due to the current national lockdown restrictions and the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, plans have been put on hold until the Autumn when a new planting season will begin. Although, how do these trees and shrubs compensate for natural grassland habitats?
“ I can say something about their biodiversity net gain. I have been in this area way before all the industrial and housing developments we have seen. In those days butterflies swarmed in clouds, there were lizards everywhere and even natterjack toads near the sewage works, you can- not mistake this toad and is rare.
So in all those years I conclude they have made a net loss of 80%, their compensation does not work any better than a Micky mouse Rolex, seeing is believing and I have witnessed just how much has been lost. No doubt they would ridicule me and say I exaggerate but there must be others that have witnessed this as I said 80% so don’t tell me about gain. “ – James Alden.