No forgiveness for wrecking heritage

This Is Wiltshire: Campaigner Jean Saunders near the site where proposed new housing will be built along Day House Lane Campaigner Jean Saunders near the site where proposed new housing will be built along Day House Lane

The Prime Minister was interviewed recently on Countryfile by John Craven and he gave an assurance that no greenfield land would be built on where the following applied: 1. Special interest – historic, landscape, cultural 2. Local people opposed 3. Local authority opposed 4. Other sites available David Cameron is obviously unaware of building proposals at Coate and Badbury Wick granted permission earlier this year by his Secretary of State for a development that ticked all these requirements.

The planned housing estate and industrial site sit in the foothills of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and very close to Coate Water Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The area is rich in ecology, archaeology, and was immortalised and made famous by the Victorian nature writer, Richard Jefferies, whose birthplace abuts the development site and is now a museum.

The planning application was opposed by more than 52,000 people who signed a petition, Robert Buckland MP and the conservative led planning committee. Other sites are available.

On page 32 of the Church Times (December 14, 2012) there is an interview with Candida Lycett Green – author, broadcaster, journalist and Sir John Betjeman’s daughter.

The questions asked of her cover a considerable amount of ground but her clear passion for the Downs near to where she lives at Uffington, Oxfordshire, and her love of old buildings and England’s countryside reveal how she follows in her father’s footsteps.

In response to changing one thing in England, Ms Lycett Green said that she would “stop the present Government making a balls-up of the planning system... They will be the Government to go down in history as wrecking England”.

And her anger is directed at “greedy developers’ building on Richard Jefferies’s sacred Greenfield landscape outside Swindon”. There is also an article by Candida Lycett Green in the January 2013 edition of the Countryfile magazine.

She writes a heartfelt plea about what has happened to Swindon, and in particular how no one has taken any notice of the Richard Jefferies Society regarding development on Jefferies Land at Coate.

She states that David Cameron says he will defend his beautiful part of Oxfordshire against the builders, and then she compares this to the fate of Swindon, where countless developments have covered the town, and in spite of many in-fill sites available how Redrow Homes are set to build on the only decent historical/literary area of land in the town at Coate.

There are many thousands of people who will never forgive this government for what has happened at Coate. The Prime Minister has been informed!

Jean Saunders Kings lane Longcot

The sorry truth

In response to a letter addressed Peter Smith’s and my letter: in it, the fellow had defended the killing of Palestinian families – including 36 children.

It’s tragic to learn that a man who holds an important position in Swindon justifies the killing of children, women and men because they are Palestinians.

It’s also tragic to know that he defends violence and a racist regime.

Albert Einstein said: “It would be my greatest sadness to see Zionists (Jews) do to Palestinian Arabs much of what Nazis did to Jews.”

Since Mr Einstein had to say the above statement things got worse for the Palestinians. The demolition of Palestinian houses; burning the farms, cutting water and electricity, the snipers – daily, the bombardment from the air, the violation of international laws, the violation of human rights and so on.

All of these brutal acts toward Palestinians are reported by the Human Rights Watches, Amnesty International, and the UN, scholars on the Middle East, honest correspondents, the Foreign Office and international activities.

After the truce agreement reached four weeks ago Tel Aviv has already breached it three times by killing three and injuring seven Palestinians. That regime has no respect for international rule of law.

The information is accessible to people who want to understand better what is happening in Palestine. I encourage you to find out for yourself.

Axmed Bahjad Fleet Street, Swindon

Double his sentence

Certain crimes turn the stomachs of decent law-abiding subjects.

For me, the most repulsive were the actions of alchoholic thug, Martin Macdonald, of Tudor Walk, Walcot. (Alcoholic jailed for assault on beggar, Adver, December 22).

The bully launched a brutal unprovoked attack on a disabled beggar, even assaulting the defenceless man with his own crutches. His victim ended up in A&E with broken ribs and internal injuries.

Without the law the beggar would have had no recourse to justice. 'Brave' Macdonald never took on a man of similar age and build and fighting fit. What a coward!

Even a casual glance at Macdonald’s mugshot reveals a thug with no remorse: shameless, haughty eyes and arrogance.

Shame the judge had to adhere to the tarriff of five years plus. I would have doubled it.

J Adams Bloomsbury Swindon

He was the worst PM

To reply to the rant from Mr Warner, I would have expected a reply as his: when shown to be wrong, he has to resort to insults, and at the weekend for his information, I read the Telegraph. Brown must be on record as the worst PM we have had for many a long year.

If he had not spent his time thinking of ways to rid himself of Blair, then he might have done something about this country’s economy.

Did he see the pictures of the Queen doing a tour of the Bank of England, did he notice the missing 400 tons of gold that was sold off for almost nothing?

T Reynolds Wheeler Avenue Swindon

Show some resolve

As we are now into 2013 many of us make resolutions, so may I suggest a few to the people who run our town?

The leader of Swindon council, Mr Roderick Bluh, will make a good start. Would you perhaps read that beacon of freedom, the Adver’s letters page, and act accordingly? Praise for you, from the voice of the people on the aforementioned pages is as scarce as an ice cream stall in the Sahara desert.

To Mr James Grant,leader of the Labour group, I have looked carefully at my local newspaper for your column, in reply to Mr Bluh. Scarcer than Margaret Thatcher at a Labour Party Conference. Time you had one Next, Mr Angus McPherson, our recently elected Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Mr Pat Geenty. We, the law abiding public, have great respect for the police. The men and women who put their lives on the line on a daily basis, to protect us. Would you both please put more of them on the streets? Police officers walking the streets are scarcer than hobby horse droppings on the motorway.

Now our right Honourable Members of Parliament for Swindon, namely Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland. Would you both please realise the fact that you represent the people of Swindon regardless of colour or creed or political views? Or like your leader, look at the opinion polls.

Will you after 2015 become more scarce than polar bears in the Nevada desert?

Happy new year, everybody.

Bill Williams Merlin Way Covingham

Thanks to the NHS

What does Prince Charles know about care in the NHS?

My only experience of being in hospital in 77 years, (from November 30 and ongoing) could not have been improved.

As much as I admire the skill and expertise of the surgeons and doctors and their immediate support staff performing near miracles day and night, it is the care and love which has and will continue to biggest contribution to my recovery – from cleaners, nursing auxiliaries, student nurses and the qualified nurses, young, mature many from far distance lands.

Charles doesn't have parking charges where he 'works', or rely on an inadequate bus service (which Thamesdown Transport and the council are cutting), he doesn't work 13-hour shifts, often only with a few hours’ sleep between them. Don't wish him ill, but he ought to come here as a patient – Charles, you would soon realise the truth.

These caring folks are under paid and under staffed.

If you really care you could use some of your vast wealth constructively and help to illustrate the Government’s hidden cuts to the NHS.

Brian V Cockbill Coleview, Swindon

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