THE NINEWELLS “FLYER”
(The Fifth Newsheet of the Ninewells Conservation Group)
This is our final report on the campaign to protect 25 acres of Ninewells Wood from sub division and development.
The campaign started with a public meeting in Catbrook Memorial Hall on 23rd August 2004. Nearly 150 of you attended, and voted unanimously for a campaign to bring the woodland into effective planning control – preferably by obtaining an Article 4 Directive under the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995.
As we told you in our fourth flyer in March 2005, our campaign resulted in Monmouthshire County Council serving an Article 4 Directive on that section of Ninewells Wood. In May 2005 the Directive was ratified by the Welsh Assembly – which means it will remain in force indefinitely. Therefore, in theory, all the possible uses and activities which so concerned people at the public meeting can now only take place if the owner of all or any part of the 25 acres has specific planning permission for them.
We discussed the current situation at our September Committee meeting. It was unanimously agreed that NCG could now be considered to have achieved its objectives and to have fully discharged its mandate for action from the public meeting. The Group has therefore decided to formally disband and all the unspent funds it holds will be returned to the community in the form of a donation to Catbrook Memorial Hall. (For the next few months we can still be contacted at www.ninewellswood.org. )
As our final act may we please ask for your continued vigilance?
The problem of woodland sub plotting has not gone away – in fact it is increasing. Whilst we know the County Council wishes to protect Ninewells and the rest of the County's woodland, it is an uncomfortable and unavoidable fact that the Council has to rely on residents bringing actual or suspected threats to its attention before it can use the powers at its disposal - including enforcing compliance with any existing Article 4 Directives. Therefore:-
If you are suspicious about works or activity in Ninewells Wood or any other local woodland please let your local Councillor know immediately.
The presence of some or all of the following types of activity may indicate woodland is being prepared for sub plotting
- A “For Sale” sign at the wood entrance.
- New trackways and rectangular flat clearings/parking areas being prepared.
- New – probably locked - gates erected at the entrance and possibly within the wood.
- Fencing, or single marker posts being erected within the wood.
- Different coloured paint daubs applied on trees or marker posts.
We sincerely hope you are satisfied with the result of our activity. We remain immensely grateful to all of you who offered help and support, in whatever form, during the NCG campaign.