Monday, 30 June 2014

Why are people so cynical about restoration plans advanced by mineral companies?

Stories like this don’t help: Anger at woodland housing plan
A cement company that won an award for restoring an old quarry into woodland has been criticised over a plan to build houses at the site just two years later.
Cemex UK Properties admitted some of the plantation would be affected at the site that also skirts the location of the historic 1526 Battle of Linlithgow Bridge.
The Woodland Trust Scotland charity said it is angry that Cemex, whose UK HQ is in Surrey, is planning to build houses at the award-winning new woodland on the edge of the West Lothian town. The charity said six hectares of woodland dominated by birch, oak and ash were planted in 2012 close to the historic battle site as part of the restoration of a Cemex's former aggregates quarry at Kettlestoun Mains.
The restoration site was commended in the New Native Woodland category of Scotland's Finest Woods Awards in 2013, sponsored by the woodland charity.
Carol Evans, director of the Woodland Trust Scotland, said: "Ripping out these saplings after just two years would be disgraceful. The planting was commended in Scotland's Finest Woods Awards because the new woodland has been well planned and planted to a high standard, within an area that has been opened up for people to explore and enjoy.
"Less than a fifth of West Lothian's woodland is native, which makes creating new woods in the area really important.
"We're asking Cemex to reconsider their plans and stick to the original proposal to plant a woodland that benefits people and wildlife, and that creates an attractive green gateway to Linlithgow."
Mineral companies are in the business of making money - there’s nothing wrong with that. What really irks people is when the planning permission ‘goal-posts’ are moved - when mineral companies win planning permission by promising one thing, boating lakes or whatever, but then later apply for permission to do something different - landfill, housing or otherwise.