New group hopes to protect Singlers Marsh from development that would change area 'dramatically and irreversibly'
- Credit: Kevin Lines
A new group has formed with the purpose of exploring how to protect Singlers Marsh from any development under possible variations in the Local Plan.
Singlers Marsh Action Group (SMAG) consists of members of various residents associations, some members of Welwyn Planning & Amenity Group, and concerned local residents - including councillors acting in a personal capacity.
Singlers Marsh is a wet meadow that lies adjacent to the chalk River Mimram on the northern edge of Welwyn.
SMAG believes that if nearby sites are allocated for housing development in an update to the Local Plan, 'the character of Singlers Marsh will be changed dramatically and irreversibly'.
As part of their efforts to protect the area SMAG contacted all the candidates standing for election to the borough council for Welwyn West ward in the May 2021 elections about the marsh.
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On their webpage, hosted by Welwyn Planning & Amenity Group, the group published a letter sent to the candidates in which it states: "Its rural surroundings would be replaced with several hundred new homes; a trickle of local traffic would become a mass of queuing cars at rush hour and well beyond.
"Air and noise pollution from houses and cars will rocket upwards, the chalk stream and its fragile ecosystem will be damaged by road pollution and construction work, a chunk of its land will be lost irretrievably to a road widening scheme and a tranquil setting for community events will become surrounded by a busy road network."
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The candidates were each asked if they would endorse the following three statements:
- Require a full and proper consultation of all relevant issues before any Local Plan or other planning decisions are made that could affect Singlers Marsh
- Object to any planning applications for developing these sites or providing infrastructure for them (including road widening) that could affect Singlers Marsh
- Oppose any sale of council-owned land that would facilitate any development that could affect Singlers Marsh
All four candidates endorsed the statements, you can see their full responses responses and find more out about the group on the webpage: www.wpag.org.uk/singlers-marsh-action-group/