Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The road to resistance in Sussex

NOT just housing developments but new roads are once again threatening the beauty of Sussex's countryside.

The photo above and this video show an event staged in East Sussex by local campaigners the Combe Haven Defenders, who are determined to prevent the environmentally disastrous white-elephant that is the “Bexhill-Hastings Link Road” from devastating one of Hastings’ and Bexhill’s most amazing natural treasures.

Some 200 people attended the “Stop the Road” Camp & Rally in Combe Haven on 29/30 September, celebrating the beauty of the valley and enjoying an amazing weekend of speeches, workshops, shadow puppetry, children’s theatre, story-telling, campfires, local music and great food.

The Camp saw the launch of the “Stop the Road – Save Our Valley” pledge. You can download a copy of the Pledge here.

Media coverage extended to the national press, with the Daily Mail and the Sunday Times (see below) both running articles linking the Camp’s preparations for future direct action with George Osborne’s plans to build hundreds of new roads around the UK.

The Camp was also name-checked in the Guardian, where a letter from the Defenders also appeared.

Other coverage included BBC Sussex, ITV Meridian, and local coverage on the Hastings [1] and Bexhill Observer web-sites [1] [2]

Meanwhile, the machineries of capitalism are threatening our wildlife and environment near Henfield in West Sussex, with plans being mooted for 10,000 homes on green land, creating a "new Milton Keynes", according to the local CPRE.

And Arun District Council's plans to concrete over their remaining countryside have gone so far that they have even incurred the wrath of Tory MP Nick Herbert.

Other ecocidal schemes in the pipeline are for 4,500 homes north of Horsham, West Sussex, up to 3,500 west of Ifield, West Sussex, and thousands more between Southwater and Christ's Hospital School.

With the prospect of a second runway at Gatwick Airport creeping back on to the agenda in recent months, it looks like a full-scale Sussex revolt will be needed to keep the money men and their bulldozers at bay!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Protest planned after oaks chopped down

THE FELLING of some mighty Sussex oaks in the Horsham area has caused some outrage locally.

The huge greenfield development at Broadbridge Heath had already got permission to go ahead, so it was perhaps to be expected.

But a few dry paragraphs in the local paper and the reality of what is actually involved are a long way apart and the destruction has woken a few people up in the area, it would seem.

With more massive development schemes planned for that area, and all across Sussex, more and more of us  are saying we are not prepared to stand back and watch it happen.

With this in mind, Save Our Sussex Alliance is holding a protest at the site where the trees were taken down.

This is on Saturday April 28, at 2pm, next to Newbridge Nurseries on the A264 at Broadbridge Heath - not far from the A24 underpass and on the road leading from Horsham towards Billingshurst.

Be there and be heard!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Civilisation just can't go on like this

SOMETIMES an apparent coincidence is in fact telling us something rather important.

No sooner had we heard the shocking news of plans for a 11,500-home new town in the heart of our Sussex countryside, at Sayers Common, than a major report came out warning us that we just can't go on like this.

Here is part of an article from The Guardian:

Celebrated scientists and development thinkers today warn that civilisation is faced with a perfect storm of ecological and social problems driven by overpopulation, overconsumption and environmentally malign technologies.

In the face of an "absolutely unprecedented emergency", say the 18 past winners of the Blue Planet prize – the unofficial Nobel for the environment – society has "no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilisation. Either we will change our ways and build an entirely new kind of global society, or they will be changed for us".

Apart from dire warnings about biodiversity loss and climate change, the group challenges governments to think differently about economic 'progress'.

"The rapidly deteriorating biophysical situation is more than bad enough, but it is barely recognised by a global society infected by the irrational belief that physical economies can grow forever and disregarding the facts that the rich in developed and developing countries get richer and the poor are left behind.

"The perpetual growth myth ... promotes the impossible idea that indiscriminate economic growth is the cure for all the world's problems, while it is actually the disease that is at the root cause of our unsustainable global practices", they say.

Meanwhile, here in Sussex more and more voices are being raised against the insanity of endless 'development' destroying our natural heritage.

Below is a section from one recent comment piece in a local paper.

We are supposed to sit back and simply watch as meadows, trees, footpaths and breathing space are stolen away from us by the men from the City.

I for one find it impossible to sign up to the consensus that allows this to happen.

Where will it all end? The logic of this mindset is that more and more land must be destroyed (the polite term is ‘developed’) on a permanently ongoing basis.

Logically, the brakes can never go on, otherwise the ‘economy’ suffers. Logically, every last blade of grass will have to be ripped up to feed this cancerous expansion.

Logically, all life on the planet will be sacrificed to the gods of profit and ‘progress’.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Protest in Hove on January 28

SAVE Our Sussex Alliance is holding another protest - this time outside the Tory party offices in Hove.

Saturday 28 January 2012 @ 2pm
outside Brighton & Hove Conservative Party HQ
109 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2AF
with guest speaker Keith Taylor,
Green MEP for South East England

Says the SOSA website: "SOSA wishes to make it clear that, while the current round of SOSA protests is taking place outside Conservative Party HQs across both East and West Sussex, our opposition is based on principles, not on party politics. 

"We would take the same stand against any political party which was seeking to introduce such damaging planning reforms, or was willing to sacrifice such huge swathes of the countryside to large-scale development, all in the misguided belief that these actions will somehow boost the UK economy.  

"It is the Conservative Party which is spearheading and defending the ‘National Planning Policy Framework’, and it is this Party which is now advocating the removal or weakening of crucial EU legislation which protects biodiversity, on the grounds that this vital protection of the UK’s flora and fauna involves ‘ridiculous cost’.  It is therefore the Conservative Party which must be the focus of SOSA’s protests at the present time."