Tamworth Green Party welcomes the news that LaFarge Tarmac has withdrawn its application for permission to quarry in Hopwas Woods, in the face of a massive campaign by local people to protect the woods.
We would like to congratulate the Friends of Hopwas Wood and the hundreds of local people who stood up to be counted and showed we are not prepared to see our environment trashed in the pursuit of corporate greed.
In particular, Sean of the Save Hopwas Woods campaign on Facebook got a lot of people mobilised very quickly and really was the moving force behind the public outcry. Sean organized the initial and largest response – over 12,000 people “liked” the Facebook page.
However, we must remain very vigilant: as we made clear in our original statement on this issue, the government is currently pushing the Infrastructure Bill through Parliament which will effectively remove the right of local communities to stop developments of this kind, by enabling “surplus” public land (in other words owned by the government or other public bodies) to be sold for development without any consultation or protection of access rights or rights of way. This legislation will also remove landowners’ and householders’ right to prevent fracking taking place underneath their property.
This is a political issue and the Conservative government has a terrible record of tipping the balance of planning controls away from protection and towards further economic development that will boost corporate profits but cause real damage to important habitats and to everyone’s quality of life.