Keeping Tenterden Green Campaign
17th May 2019
Residents pack three day launch of 'Keeping Tenterden Green' campaign
to "leave a sustainable legacy for future generations"
Around 600 people attended the three launch events (7 May, 8 May and 11 May) at St Mildred's Church, Tenterden for the official launch of the "Keeping Tenterden Green" campaign. Its aim to create a legally enforceable Selective Neighbourhood Plan (SNP) to protect valuable green spaces.
Over the first two days, they heard from Tenterden Town Council planning chairman Cllr John Crawford, Cllr Kate Walder, campaign principal Richard Masefield and planning consultant Jim Boot.
Cllr Crawford opened the launch by saying "The aim is to protect for future generations our most treasured green spaces, the spaces that make our locality an exceptional place to live, work and visit"
After the presentations, Cllr Crawford said: "It was an amazing turnout, and Keeping Tenterden Green clearly has struck a chord with the community who are providing overwhelming public support.
"Together - the campaign leaders, Tenterden residents, the Town Council and Ashford Borough Council - we have a real opportunity to Keeping Tenterden Green, leaving a sustainable legacy for future generations."
Mr Masefield said he was dismayed at how much green space was at risk from speculative housing development. He said that more than 640 new homes had been built, or were about to be built, on greenfield sites around Tenterden.
He outlined how green spaces were essential for recreation, exercise, mental and emotional stability, and providing fresh air at a time of major pollution. He pointed out that a single tree could remove up to 26lbs of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Mr Boot outlined the programme required to create an SNP. He said that community engagement was most important, and that a local referendum would be held following a programme of consultation with the community, examination by Ashford Borough Council and an independent examiner. The SNP must have a clear vision and polices for designating local green spaces backed up with hard evidence. Work is scheduled for completion next year.
A communications group is being set up with the mandate to keep the community informed of progress and where we need involvement from the community.
It was explained that the criteria for designating local green space is to provide evidence that shows:
- Reasonable close proximately to the community it serves
- Local in character
- Demonstrably special and holds particular local significance such as beauty / tranquility; recreational value; biodiversity and wildlife; and / or historic importance;
Working groups are being set up with local community volunteers to research evidence for each of the identified local spaces under consideration.
To find out more about the progress of Keep Tenterden Green, log onto https://www.facebook.com/keepingtenterdengreen/