It is with dismay that I read the article in edition 137 (July/August 2011) of The Bugle, titled “Protecting Youlgrave’s Green Spaces”.
To the best of my knowledge the field known as “The Alley” has been privately owned for successive generations of the Upton family.
It is only thanks to their generosity and good grace that residents local to the field have been able to use it, with their permission, for various activities as listed in the above mentioned article.
The article written in The Bugle seems to me to confuse two distinctly separate issues: The social housing application; The need for a village green.
If I may I would like to tackle these two issues in order.
Social Housing: As The Bugle itself states planning permission has been granted for the social housing to be built.
The fact that a small group of local residents are now proposing to try to change the categorisation of this field to a “Village Green” seems to be fuelled more by sour grapes than a genuine desire to set aside a field for the general use and enjoyment of residents of the village.
As far as I can recall the “need” for a new village green has not been raised until this so called committee decided that this is the best hope to stop the housing development.
Unless I am mistaken the planning process has run its course and permission has been granted. Whether you are in favour or against the fact is that we live in a democracy and the democratic decision was to allow the housing; Need for a new Village Green. We already have two open green spaces within the village at the playing fields and Coldwell End car park. Both equipped with play areas for children. Where, therefore does the need for a “Village Green” come from?
According to the article in The Bugle there is a need for a village green because people need space to “run”, “walk dogs”, “walk”, “sledge”.
Is the “Alley Committee” and Mr Wilson seriously arguing that living where we do there is a lack of space and opportunity to do all of the above without the need to interfere in a land owners rights to do with his land what he has been legally given permission to do.
For the sake of clarity and so that any inferences and assumptions regarding my motives for writing this can be clarified I am neither for nor against the social housing.
It makes no material difference to me whether social housing is built and, for any that may be wondering, I do have a family connection to the land owner.
I have written this letter because it seems inherently wrong that since failing to stop the social housing development a new and somewhat incongruous argument has been put forward.