Monday, 20 January 2014

Yalding, is it viable? - 20th Jan 2014

"We need a study into the future viability of villages such as Yalding", is the call from Maidstone Greens. While government discuss the possibility of a "Yalding Garden City"[1], the Greens point out that the flooding is set to get more frequent and more extreme in future years and climate change increases and the best option may be retreat.The Greens made the call in their submission[2] to the Council's consultation on a Green and Blue Strategy.

Stuart Jeffery, Green Prospective Parliamentary Candidate: "Yalding needs a future, yet all government seems to do is talk about more houses on flood plains while failing to protect those already built. The flooding in places like Yalding is going to get worse - climate change means more extreme weather at increased frequency which for Kent in winter means more flooding.

"Yalding has two options, the government could invest massively in flood defences to fight Nature or it could move people away from the worst of the flooding. Moving people, and potentially some of the historic buildings in Yalding, may be a more difficult political pill to swallow but it could provide the only long term solution.

"We want to see an unbiased study into the options for Yalding, and other villages that suffer regularly with floods, as we believe doing nothing is not an option."


2. Submission to MBC on 21st Jan 2014:

Maidstone Green Party would like to make the following points in response to your consultation on the draft Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy:

  • A study should be commissioned on the future viability of Yalding and other villages at high risk of flooding
  • The proposed reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while being at the level set out by Parliament, are too low and we suggest that Maidstone Borough Council should be carbon free by 2020 and the Borough should have reduced emissions by 90% by 2030 from 1990 levels
  • The use of new woodland should be considered to reduce fluvial flooding
  • Ancient woodland should receive the highest level of protection against development
  • Fracking, or any extraction of unconventional fossil fuels should be banned from within the Borough and MBC should strongly object to such proposals.
  • ensure that planning proposals protect existing wildlife habitats and include public open space
  • enhance the biodiversity at all public open spaces, where this would not conflict with its recreational use, and ensure they are appropriately managed in the future
  • reduce the Council’s use of herbicides and pesticides in public parks, open spaces, tennis courts, streets, etc. Organic weed control methods should be adopted wherever possible promote the benefits of organic, locally produced food, and local distribution networks or box schemes
  • lobby the Government and EC to improve incentives for producers to switch to free range and organic food production, and remove incentives for large scale monoculture and factory farming, which have devastating effects on biodiversity, animal welfare, soils and water quality
  • encourage schools and other institutions to use organic and GM-free ingredients
  • encourage local shops and supermarkets to sell a greater proportion of food that has been produced locally, organically and ethically
  • persuade the Council to work with Allotments Associations to develop an Allotments Strategy – to protect existing sites, provide new sites in new large development, ensure that they are well maintained, promoted, and have areas set aside for organic production
  • work with charities, such as the Woodland Trust to plant new woods and establish new wildlife habitats around the borough with public access
  • have planning policies that protect all rivers, wetlands and their vicinities from any negative developments. Work with the Environment Agency to enhance watercourse in the council’s ownership and promote restoration to landowners where appropriate.

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