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2008 - A Good Year ?

Heavy frosts bring out the beauty of our countryside. Blue skies, sun, frost outlined trees and hedges. Wonderful winter landscapes to behold and we are fortunate to have them literally on our doorstep.

Your Civic Society recently participated in a workshop run by CPRE. (Campaign to Protect Rural England) where we looked at a range of issues concerning the countryside,on which, CPRE are consulting nationwide. It would be incorrect to suggest that the workshop came up with all the answers but its worth making a couple of points. There is a need to encourage those who live in an urban environment, especially young people, to understand the value of the countryside to them and future generations. Another and important need is how to overcome in the general population the accusation of 'nimbyism' when the defence of the greenbelt and objections to greenfield building sites are voiced by residents in rural areas.

Changing the topic, I am afraid it is to list, ( but not exhaustive ) a number of recurring and legitimate gripes. There are so many good things about Buntingford and surrounding villages that it almost seems like an act of disloyalty to highlight defects but so many of them have gone on for far too long.

A number of these issues come within the remit of EHDC Joint Members Panel and BCS questions is the voice of Buntingford heard in that forum ?

  • Railings collapsed alongside River Green - vandalised temporary fencing exposes passersby to the serious risk of falling into the river. See the picture to the right
  • Very poor condition road surface in Church Street - trip hazard, motor accident risk.
  • High Street pavements broken and uneven - proven cause of trip accidents.
  • blocked gullies on road to Wydiall - local flooding and if frozen traffic accident hazard.
  • BCS 'Save our Streets' report ignored - a valuable basis for a plan to correct defects.
  • Drains Chapel End heavily silted - localised and more general flooding risk.
  • The lack of parking spaces for shoppers - potential impact on a commercially viable High Street.
  • The failure to introduce conservation area parking lines and signage which is consistent throughout Buntingford - parking regulations not understood or ignored.
  • Planning piecemeal permitting 'in filling' of garden sites and unimaginative design standards - doubtful if in fifty years residents will congratulate us on what we have built.

As 2008 moves on we will all be drawn into important issues such as Harlow North expansion, gypsies and travellers sites,impact os Stansted Airport development, each part and parcel of the LDF ( Local Development Framework ) process. Keep in mind that Regional Assemblies are on the way out and that unelected Regional Development Agencies are coming in with powers to run roughshod over local communities. Please use this website for links to valuable sources of information and if you are not a member of BCS make a point of joining ( Membership Secretary Chris Eagle, 274710 ) and strenghthen our voice in the Town on your behalf.

Derek K Cooper, Chairman.
NCS Property Maintenance

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Brooklands Design

Buntingford Karate Club

Calm Holistic Therapies

Chris Dellar