Councillor Elsie Fallows,
15 Sep 2012
Dear Councillor Fallows,
Churnet Valley – AONB Status
As you are aware Whiston Action Group (WAG) and the community at large as demonstrated by responses to the Options Report has concerns over the proposals to develop the Churnet Valley under the Core Strategy and Churnet Valley Master Plan.
One of the key factors in protecting the peace and tranquillity of the Churnet Valley is the issue of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status (AONB). SMDC’s current failure to actively support an application for AONB status is contrary to the widespread community support and conflicts with the view of other official organisations ready to initiate an application. SMDC is currently isolated, but has recently agreed to re-consider its position in the light of the concerns expressed by the public during the Options Report consultation. WAG trusts that you recognise AONB status as a key issue requiring your personal attention as a district councillor representing residents at the heart of the most beautiful part of the valley. You have a duty to protect our heritage from the excessive development that has been proposed in the Churnet Valley Options Report and we look to you to demonstrate to the community who elected you that you are at one with the overwhelming public response that is resistant to anything other than minimal development.
We understand that you have family land ownership declarations to make, but those matters do not preclude your active engagement in the debate to press home the views of the people you were elected to represent. We are encouraged by your recently reported view in opposition to the proposed erection of a massive wind turbine at Moneystone and trust that you will be equally enthusiastic in supporting AONB. Now is the time for you to act and to be seen to act. WAG and the vast majority of your Churnet Ward residents need re-assurance of your personal aims and goals on this important matter. We look forward to hearing from you.
Chairman of Whiston Action Group