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7:50am Thursday 31st May 2012 in Letters
Sir – The five letters published last week (May 24) about access to the Trap Grounds all miss the point. The issue is about a hole in a fence, whether or not residents of the whole parish and the nearby school need it, and whether or not it would make the secluded area safer and deter occasional wrongdoers.
None of these letters refers to the town green status of the scrubland part of the site. This gives local residents over a wide area the right to comment on its future, even if those living closest to the fence disagree.
The St Margaret’s Society distributed 550 copies of our proposal to local households and I subsequently answered more than a hundred emails. At our AGM, the debate, billed as a ‘discussion’, lasted for 10 minutes longer than planned, with about 10 participants, including contributions from two councillors, a message from SS Philip and James School and a statement from Ms Robinson.
We deplore the organised intimidating behaviour at our AGM. We are now continuing our consultation with representatives of local organisations. The Trap Grounds owes its present status to the St Margaret’s Area Society, formed in the 1970s, to oppose plans to build on it a large Herbeyers warehouse and associated roads. Our successful campaign involved the Secretary of State. Thirty years on, in 2003, our 280-signature petition in favour of a road across the Trap Grounds (County Structure Plan 2006-16) reflected the majority local opinion. Many of us would have preferred to keep Aristotle Lane for pedestrians and cyclists only, and prevent the urbanisation of the listed canal bridge.
Dr Tim King, Chairman, St Margaret’s Area Society, Oxford