When the dream becomes a nightmare

PUBLISHED: 16:25 23 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:45 26 October 2009

SIR – Why the WHT should apply the word nightmare to further expansion in Welwyn Hatfield is puzzling. After all don t we remember how most of us got here? A very large percentage of us were rehoused as London s overspill population and the same could b

SIR - Why the WHT should apply the word "nightmare" to further expansion in Welwyn Hatfield is puzzling. After all don't we remember how most of us got here? A very large percentage of us were rehoused as London's overspill population and the same could be said for others who went to Stevenage and Letchworth.

So what is so wrong with further expansion? We all need places for our own children to live and unless we get to grips with population growth and unrestricted immigration this will be just the beginning of a new wave of building.

The idea that our "urban idyll in the countryside" risks further change is laughable. In nearly 50 years in the Garden City much that surrounded our former way of life has changed, whether it is the obvious neglect of Hatfield, the disappearance much-loved small shops, the constant roar of traffic for any of us living near the A1M or the feeder roads into the towns, the loss of manufacturing industry, and the removal of recreational facilities such as the swimming pool and children's beach at Stanborough.

The recent bout of hot weather has seen a massive impact on local countryside, visible in the piles of rubbish left alongside the Mimram or the way in which parents now have little alternative but to allow their children to swim in the Lea - whose flow is largely made up of water from Luton sewage works.

All around in the park piles of rubbish are allowed to accumulate in every rubbish bin. A disgusting health and safety risk. The children's boating lake is polluted by algal growth and the model boat lake is so neglected it is covered in weeds and contains even more dangerous algal growths.

Green and pleasant land indeed.

Handside ward's outstanding councillor Dr Dennis Lewis long ago warned of creeping regionalisation and the way it would change local democracy - and now we see it in the shape of Eastern Region minister Barbara Follett.

Who voted for her brand of self-congratulatory narcissism? As for her statement that "although we may take some green belt land our aim is to give that green belt land back somewhere else in the area" I would ask how will she do this? On the basis of who votes for the party she represents?

Grant Shapps is right when he asks "When is this Government going to learn that they can't run local issues from Whitehall?"

Derek Dewey-Leader,

Turnmore Dale, WGC.


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