COMMENT BY OBSERVER
I am grateful to UckfieldNews.com to allow me the opportunity to comment on what’s happening in this town of ours. All views are my own and should not be attributed to this website or its owner.
For those of you who followed me in another place some years ago, I’m back from living and working in Milton Keynes. We’ve returned to Uckfield to find change at every turn.
SANGS. There, they have invented a new word while my back was turned.
I’ve caught the tail end of this Ashdown Forest 7km kerfuffle and how developers are supposed to mitigate against their development causing more pressure on the Forest.
So SANGS (that’s Suitable Alternative Natural Green Spaces) is the solution. The theory is: create another pretty walk somewhere close to the housing and people (probably dog walkers in the main) will go there instead of the Ashdown Forest.
Pull the other one. If that is going to work, the planners and developers will have to come up with something pretty special.
People like the Ashdown Forest because:
- It’s a vast open space;
- There are tremendous views over wide areas;
- The walking is varied – uphill, down dale with an attractive natural landscape;
- Plenty of wildlife to spot;
- Good parking;
- Plenty of ice creams; and
- Some decent places for a cup of tea.
It is going to have to be a pretty good SANGS to match that and draw people away from the fresh air and big skies up on the Forest.
The other thing that concerns me is that the developers seem to be thinking of using existing green spaces as SANGS. Surely, that doesn’t work.
People in Uckfield have bought and tended these areas for a long time. Some are already heavily used and in places need a “rest”.
They won’t get that if more and more people are diverted to these areas – I’m thinking of Boothland Wood, in particular. No amount of developer’s cash can make that idea right.
See you next Saturday.