A campaign to protect green spaces from being sold-off for housing within a picturesque village is gathering pace.
Since mothers Jayne Mackie, Clare Newton, Jillian Duncan and Rosalind Hughes joined forces to launch ‘Keep Boldon Green’ residents have been signing up in their hundreds to help the women in their fight.
“Once the green spaces are gone, they are gone forever, so people need to let their voices be heard.Clare Newton
The campaign was started in response to leaflets sent out by South Tyneside Council on its Strategic Land Review and the possibility that 1,700 new homes could be built on the green spaces around East Boldon. A
Areas suggested include land at North Farm, off Boker Lane, land near South Lane, the former MoD bunkers at Green Lane, land next to the Metro line at Boldon Flats, plus many others.
Now, in a show of strength of feeling against the plans, signs have been going up throughout the village backing the campaign.
A Facebook page has reached almost 900 followers, 400 residents have registered email addresses with the campaign, 3,000 residents have been reached through leaflet drops to highlight the plans and focus groups have been formed to look at gathering evidence to show why green spaces would be unsuitable for housing developments.
The response has delighted the four mums, who all live in Victoria Terrace.
Mrs Duncan said: “We have been working extremely hard as a group to let people know of these plans and to encourage people to speak out against them.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response so far, the numbers turning up at meetings and questions asked of planing officers clearly shows the strength of feeling the residents have towards the green spaces.”
The green spaces are used regularly by residents young and old for recreational purposes. People have also raised concerned over the wildlife that live within the areas.
Mrs Newton said: “Once the green spaces are gone, they are gone forever, so people need to let their voices be heard.
“We know there has to be homes built, but there is land which can be used without taking our green spaces.”
The group has already secured an extension on the consultation period so more residents could have their say and it now ends in July.
Mrs Mackie said: “If we don’t do something now, then we run the risk of losing our green spaces and the villages will all merge into each other.
“It’s not just for the residents but for everyone who use the green spaces to show their support.”
Groups of volunteers are currently gathering evidence in a range of areas to help in the campaign. These include the effects on the area’s infrastructure and environment.
Mrs Hughes added: “There is a real sense of community spirit and I think this is why I think our campaign is gathering pace at the rate it is.
“A lot of people had no idea of the impact this plan will have on the area until now. But we need people to let the planners know their views.”
Previous meetings has led to hundreds of residents turn out to let their views be known. The women are now encouraging all residents to submit their views to the council before the consultation ends in July.
People can submit their views to firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on the Keep Boldon Green campaign or for signs and posters visit the Keep Boldon Green Facebook page or visit keepboldongreen.weebly.com/