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River Ver update

Plot holders on Cottonmill have received letters from SADC informing them of the latest proposal for Reach 4 in the Ver Improvement project (www.revitalisingtheriver.co.uk ). There is an invitation to respond to this proposal through a survey that can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/allotments1

The closing date is 4th February and the Committee hopes that even if you are not on Cottonmill you will make your voice heard as a fellow plot holder.

Irene Jacobson (Cottonmill) has been in contact with Councillor Simon Grover who is a member of the SADC Environment Scrutiny Committee and he would like to hear views and concerns about the current proposals as they impact on issues from allotment holders. He will make sure they are put to the Committee. This is another opportunity for individuals to make their voice heard and we would urge you to contact Simon on simon.grover@googlemail.com. The next Environment Scrutiny Committee is on 17th January so Simon needs your thoughts by 10th January,

The CNAA Committee has discussed the revised proposals and highlights some issues with an emphasis on environmental issues which we will pass on to Simon, but your individual responses are very important to get the messages across.

The plan requires significant disturbance of the existing ecology and risks losing forever the rich and unique biodiversity promoted by the Cottonmill allotments, which is a function of both years of cultivation and current land use.

  • The new proposal is to flip the river to the other side of the site swapping one right hand bend for another and to bring in foreign gravel and topsoil to landscape new plots (all plot holders are expected to be reallocated). More will be lost than gained for the community and the risk to the Ver and the environment is increased.

  • The river in Reach 4 currently displays typical chalk steam characteristics and supports wildlife expected in this type of waterway. The riverneeds maintenance and TLC, but could be improved in its current path. The current proposal will destroy the ecology completely. Attempting to create a new a chalk stream on the other side of the site is, in the view of the Committee, not viable.

  • CNAA will continue to press for a cost benefit analysis for all proposals and published in full.

If you want to see the presentations given at the Scrutiny Committee on 31st October addressing the Ver project proposals together with minutes of the meeting and an appendix answering questions sent in by members you can view this at http://stalbans.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=517&MId=8703.

The Committee is continuing to challenge the proposals on your behalf and will keep you updated on progress through the CNAA website. Finally, I hope you can take these opportunities to have your say on the latest proposals by sending an email to Simon and by responding to the SADC questionnaire. If you want a paper copy of this you can call 01727 819366 or enter your response through website.

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