Providing the homes we need without destroying the countryside

South East Essex is threatened with a large number of housing schemes that will destroy rich wildlife habitat. There are some extremely important areas of habitat in Benfleet, Rayleigh, Rochford and elsewhere, that are home to some of the wildlife species that are in decline.

Scientists warn us that a quarter of UK mammals are now facing extinction. In addition, the World Health Organisation and other scientists warn that our destructive relationship with nature is making the outbreak of new pandemics, like COVID-19, ever more likely. To stop novel viruses jumping between wildlife and humans it is absolutely essential that we stop the destruction of habitat both abroad and here in the UK.

However, as the UK population continues to grow, we also need to provide enough homes to meet our needs. Instead of building homes in areas that can only be accessed by cars, we provide here the solutions, that not only save precious countryside, but put the homes needed on brownfield sites that make it easier for people to live free of the expense of car ownership.

By building around the public transport hubs and along the public transport corridors we can make it easy for people to get around on bikes, buses and rail, greatly reducing fuel use and helping to tackle the climate crisis. And by building up, typically 5 or 6 floors above a ground floor shop, on a public transport corridor, we can revitalise traditional independent shops and build more inclusive communities.

We can solve the housing crisis, we can save the greenbelt and wildlife habitat, and we can tackle the climate and ecological emergency. We just need to stop doing all the wrong things and make the simple changes that are needed. At the next local elections ever more people will be looking for politicians who will rise to the challenge and stop the destruction of the natural world.

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Southend Airport campaign. Notes on campaign leaflet

We are currently delivering 10,000 leaflets to homes near the airport and flight path. For those seeking more information please read the notes below and follow the hyperlinks provided: –
British Medical Journal research published earlier in the year shows that those living within the 50dB noise contour of airports suffer an increased risk of strokes and cardio-vascular disease. This research was undertaken around Heathrow, where the noise contour is much larger than at Southend. But the threat to public health posed but sudden and frightening bursts of noise has now been proven: –
Government reports have shown that poor air quality causes 29,000 premature deaths per annum. Unlike petrol cars aircraft do not have catalytic converters, so those living around airports suffer an increased risk of ill-health due to pollution: – COMEAP_mortality_effects_of_long_term_exposure.pdf
The United Nations set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide rigorous science and advice to all nations on the impact of climate change. The series of reports published earlier in 2014 provide a huge amount of information, but summary reports for policy makers have been released which make for easier reading. Some irresponsible sections of the British media have painted a picture of disagreement on the core science within the world scientific community. In fact between 97 and 99% of scientific opinion agrees (“with 95% certainty”) that human activities are responsible for our warming planet and the disruption to climate we are now seeing across the globe.
The IPCC reports of 2014 show that agriculture will be hit hard, with a 50% reduction in agricultural production in parts of Africa by 2020 and a 30% reduction in parts of Asia by 2030. The summary reports can be accessed here: –
The World Health Organisation has issued dire warnings on the human health implications of climate change. This is the most recent briefing document: –
The WHO reported in 2004 that most deaths caused by climate change were of infants under the age of 1 year. These were vulnerable children in the world’s poorest countries who were being killed by the increased spread of disease as the world warms. The most recent calculation of the number of deaths was undertaken by the DARA International group of scientists. This body found that 400,000 people were now being killed by climate change per annum and that the largest proportion of deaths were of young children, killed by the increasing spread of disease. In our warmer wetter world disease is being spread more quickly and this is killing around 340,000 children per annum. The humanitarian movement is naturally appalled that any politician or business leader should advocate the growth of any polluting industry (like aviation) because this will increase the number of vulnerable young infants being killed. The DARA report is here: –
If you want any more information on climate change or our campaign against expanded operations at Southend Airport then please write to us at: –

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Objection to airport's water pollution application

Subject: London Southend Airport: Environmental Permit Application – Ref EPR/HB3790ND/A001
Dear Sir/Madam,
I write to object in the strongest terms to Environment Permit Application EPR/HB3790ND/A001 submitted to the Environment Agency by London Southend Airport. Granting this application will permit the airport to discharge up to 360 cubic metres of deicing chemicals into local watercourses each day. Continue reading

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Environment Agency releases airport application documents

After some difficulty, we have been able to obtain the documents relating to Southend Airport’s application to allow up to 360m3 of de-icer to flow into local watercourses each day. Thanks to Tolga Kulahcigil for obtaining these.
We will shortly prepare a response to the environmental application and post it on the SEEFoE website. Continue reading

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World War II shelter in Priory Crescent

Recent research by local campaign group Saxon King in Priory Park to establish what became of the tunnels under the former Ecko factory on Priory Crescent has drawn a blank as Bellway Homes and Southend Borough Council try to hide what they know about the site. We suspect that the tunnels were damaged or destroyed in the process of demolishing the buildings above them.
However, on 14th December 2001, Peter and Denis Walker arranged a visit to the site and took photos of what they found. These photos are shown below. Some of the tunnels had been used for storage and they learned that over the years, most of the interesting historical items – posters, signage, etc. had been removed. Continue reading

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Letter to Lord Smith re Environment Agency

Dear Lord Smith,
I wanted to draw your attention, as head of the Environment Agency, to what I regard as unacceptable behaviour from your agency.
I have been campaigning against the extremely damaging expansion of Southend Airport since 2008, as it turns out, unsuccessfully. The local authorities (Southend Borough Council and Rochford District Council) have done everything they can to suppress public engagement in the planning process and ignoring the will of the people proceeded to grant planning permission for an extended runway at the airport in 2010. Following completion of the runway extension, the aerodrome has been operating as a passenger airport for EasyJet and other low-cost airlines for the last two years. Continue reading

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Airport business parks…could the idea take off?

Growth - Southend Airport with, inset left, the site of the proposed Saxon Business Park and, inset right, Jon Fuller and Denis Walker

Growth – Southend Airport with, inset left, the site of the proposed Saxon Business Park and, inset right, Jon Fuller and Denis Walker

IS it a crucial plan which will generate jobs and prosperity for the towns near Southend Airport? Or a pie-in-the-sky, possibly damaging plan which should be thrown out?
Southend and Rochford councils have designed a Joint Area Action Plan for the future of the airport and the area around it for decades to come. Continue reading

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Airport pouring de-icer into river

An airport has been releasing almost 80,000 gallons of de-icer into a river every day this winter.
Southend Airport has been pouring the chemical into Prittle Brook, which flows into the larger River Roach in Essex. Stobart, the airport’s owner, has applied for a permit from the Environment Agency to allow 79,188 gallons of de-icer to be released into the stream daily.
Paul Gilson, of Leigh and Southend Fisherman’s Association, said: “I’m extremely concerned about it. This is serious.” A spokesman for Southend Airport said: “The Environment Agency reports little or no impact on watercourses and wildlife.”

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Fears airport growth could close golf club

Campaigners say concreting over flood plains would lead to regular flooding

BOSSES of a 120-year-old golf course fear for its future if plans to extend the area around Southend Airport go ahead.
Golfers and management at Rochford Hundred Golf Club say building further on to the flood plain could lead to severe flooding on the course and make it unplayable.
They gave evidence as the South East Essex Friends of the Earth group began its planning challenge in front of a Government inspector hoping to stop Rochford and Southend councils’ Joint Area Action Plan. Continue reading

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Improve sea defences at Shoebury but no new homes on the floodplain

Local residents, concerned by plans to improve the sea wall at Shoebury Common, have contacted this group for assistance. Their fear is that the council will improve the sea wall and then permit the construction of new homes on the floodplain.
With the gradual rise in sea levels (which will accelerate due to climate change) and increasing risk of storms, it is essential that flood defences are improved. However, the construction of new homes at or below sea level would be grossly irresponsible and must be opposed. Residents are advised to study this advice from the Environment Agency: –

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