When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Development of meadow will be oppressive
8:00am Friday 22nd September 2006 in Letters
Sir, I hope that a way can be found to fund the improvements at the Warneford Hospital without developing the lovely Warneford Meadow.
The meadow is an area of open grassland with a network of footpaths and bordered by trees and a brook. In the middle of the city, it is a country meadow where you can birdwatch, identify butterflies, meet foxes on the path, or even see herons, badgers and muntjac deer. Many people have walked there regularly for 20 years or more. Those that have discovered Warneford Meadow recently are amazed.
This small meadow is important in the bigger picture of the wellbeing of the City, its people and its wildlife. It is part of the network of green spaces essential to balance Oxford's dense development. Its existence supports the Lye Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest and the Boundary Brook wildlife corridor, both of which are becoming isolated by developments. It's almost the last of the hospital fields, originally set aside as part of the therapeutic environment for Warneford patients. A modern take on its role is as a haven for all of us looking for a little restorative peace and quiet.
The planning applications submitted will mean the end of the meadow. The main application proposes accommodation for nearly 2,000 students. The grassland will be gone, the footpaths built over or tarmaced. Apart from the loss of the meadow, this level of development is oppressive to the existing community and will overload local infrastructure.
The applications can be viewed online: www.tinyurl.com/efer; the application references are 06/01559/OUT and 06/01560/OUT. You can comment online. The city council has said that views submitted during the next few weeks will still be taken into account. I hope readers will look at the plans and let their views be known.
Jo Aldhouse, Oxford