Methinks I doth protest too much.
But quite honestly it has to be done.
In the 37 years (is it really so long!?) since I moved to this little slice of heaven we have had to campaign against the Western Orbital Route, a quarry and an extension to our local airport.
Yes you can call me a NIMBY but I ain’t been on the losing side yet and if you’re so concerned you are quite welcome to put any of them in your backyard and see how you like it.
So bring on the next.
Yes it’s another quarry.
Except it’s not really.
Let me explain.
Once upon a time someone wanted to build houses on a strip of land on the edge the village, between the canal and the brook.
But it was designated green belt.
So that’s the end of that then.
All’s well that ends well.
Happy villagers and happy grazing sheep.
Everything’s back to normal.
But! Hold on a mo!
Here comes a developer with a cunning plan.
‘We’ll build a marina instead.‘
Perhaps a bit more aesthetically pleasing, row upon row of canal barges instead of row upon row of little boxes made of ticky tacky.
Well that splits the vote.
Some think it’s a good idea.
Each to their own.
A bit like Brexit in minature.
And then there’s the punchline. ‘Of course we could always turn it into a travellers site or a quarry.‘
Suddenly a marina looks very attractive indeed.
‘No of course we won’t remove anything from the site. The sand we don’t want will be piled up as a barrier to stop the canal and the brook getting too jiggy jiggy with each other.‘
Come to think of it, isn’t that how they made Wales? The ancient Brits got forced ever westward by various European invaders taking their land with them until they came to the coast and had to pile it up into mountains. Back to Brexit again.
Anyway, I digress.
O.k. then – a marina – we’re not entirely chuffed but we’ll go with that.
Job’s a good ‘un.
Not everyone’s happy, but hey, you can’t please all of the people…
And then – nothing!
Well, not quite.
The sheep are evicted for a start.
Whenever a deadline approaches where something has to be seen to be done there’s a sudden spurt of activity. A perimeter fence appears. Someone digs a trench and then refills it again. That sort of thing.
…out of the blue…
…except it’s been in the planning stages for ages…
…’Let’s turn it into a quarry!‘
But you said you wouldn’t remove anything…
‘We know, but we were only kidding. Besides it’ll make us some money ‘cos we can’t actually afford to build a marina.‘
Oh, hang on though, you can’t – it’s green belt see, protected. So stick that up your…
‘No it’s not. That status was lost when you said you wanted a marina.‘
But we only said we wanted a marina because you said…
Shafted or what?
So, we are now mobilising the troops again.
Say No To The Quarry.
Look it up, it’s the name of our Facebook page.
And we certainly ought to fight that battle and win, so perhaps I ought to leave it there.
‘ Oh, oh,‘ I can hear you mumbling, ‘he’s off again.‘
Yes I am, so bear with me.
There’s more sand in the pit at the local primary school than there is underneath that field.
Honestly, any self respecting quarry man wouldn’t even start his digger – it would cost too much in fuel. It’s on a flood plain for Gawd’s sake, they’d be pumping water out all day & all night!
So – you don’t think for one minute that after a few halfhearted scrapings in the ground they may give up and say,’hey, you know what – this isn’t green belt anymore, how about we build up the ground to the level of the canal and build some houses!?‘
Nobody could be that conniving surely, telling porkies to get their own way. See how the Brexit theme runs through this plot, or is that just the state of politics today?
Just a thought.
SAY NO TO THE QUARRY!