Carraway Cottage, Carraway Lane
Marnhull, Sturminster Newton
Dorset DT10 1NJ
2 November 2020
The Editor: Diarmuid MacDonagh
On a windy Autumn day I joined the Thomas Hardy Society for a walk that tracked the perimeter of the proposed housing development across Dowland to the North of the culturally renowned, county-town of Dorchester.
It is beyond the comprehension of any person, in this case the individual property owners and town and county planners in particular, to even contemplate such irreversible destruction of such an extensive area of farmland, which contributes to the bread-basket of the nation and is a green lung (evident while hiking with magnificent far-reaching views across productive agricultural land) for this market town.
Even more so having watched “Extinction - the facts” and heard Sir David Attenborough’s clarion call ”We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited” and “we need immediate action to stop this crisis”. That includes putting a stop to this development - especially as it will ‘sandwich’ the Frome River flood plain through excessive run-off from the North which would unbalance, even destroy, its natural ecology. It is also a landscape featured by Thomas Hardy and the artist Gordon Beningfield alike, attracting cultural tourism to Dorchester.
It may, indeed, be proved that housing needs to be found for a substantial number of people in Dorchester, in which case Councillors are charged with the responsibility to be creative about using areas within the town’s already extended boundary, such as redevelopment to breath new life into the town centre where a wide range of community facilities are readily to hand, and can be expanded and improved for new uses without the need to increase pollution by an obliged use of vehicles to reach the town centre.
If coronavirus and climate change have taught us anything it is that what happens on one side of Mother Earth - China and the Amazon, obvious big examples - the ripple effects are felt by all corners of this, now fragile, planet. What happens to the tract of land to the North of Dorchester will have an effect on the entire county, the South West, the nation and our world. Nothing or nowhere is immune from affecting the precarious nature of our Planet. This is my plea to each and every one of us, and this case especially the
identified land owners, proposed developers and current Councillors and Planning Officers, to heed Sir David’s warning - You each have one final chance to ensure that your actions do not contribute any further to the demise of the wonderful world we have inherited.
Stop, think and examine your conscience. Think globally, act locally . Be mindful that your decision will contribute to the global crisis. What happens here in Dorset will add to increases in carbon, the cause of so much destruction. It is your younger relatives that will pay in the long run.
In all sincerity