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Save the Richard Jefferies Country

February 6, 2012

Developers still want to destroy the landscape around Coate near Swindon, immortalised by the Victorian writer and journalist Richard Jefferies. Please write urgently to secretary of state Eric Pickles. I give below a sample letter which you can adapt for your own use. Please forward this:

The Secretary of State will be making his decision known about the Coate planning appeal on of before 3 April 2012. Please write to him now. Email: eric.pickles@communities.gsi.gov.ukSample letter:

Rt Hon Eric Pickles
Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London SW1E 5DU
Dear Mr Pickles
Re: Planning Appeal No: APP/U3935/A/11/2155834
Land at Dayhouse Lane, Coate, Swindon.
Your planning inspector, Geoffrey Hill, will be completing his report of the Planning Inquiry held in November 2011. I support Swindon Borough Council’s reasons to refuse planning permission for building on the appeal site and hope that you will too. The countryside at Coate and Badbury Wick is greatly valued and significant for many reasons that include the following:
- the landscape setting of Coate Water Country Park and Site of Special Scientific Interest
- the views from Liddington Hill and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- the recreational value of Dayhouse Lane (a peaceful country lane) for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and joggers who use it as a gateway to the downs
- the inherent wildlife importance of Dayhouse Copse, ancient trees, hedges, bat roosts, badger setts and otter streams
- the literary associations of internationally renowned Richard Jefferies
- the archaeological quality of the area that dates back to pre-history
- the agricultural quality of the land – 22% is grade 2/3a, best and most versatile farmland
- the views from the Great Western Hospital that help aid recovery.
Over 52,000 people signed  a petition asking Swindon Council to protect this prized
corner of Swindon. The environmental, historic and literary value of the appeal site far outweighs any benefits that more housing, offices and industrial units can offer. The planning application provides nothing special. It is not a sustainable development, it is premature and will set a precedent for infill development around Coate Water Country Park.
Please dismiss the appeal lodged by Swindon Gateway Partnership.
Thank you.
Yours sincerely
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