It’s obvious, even from space, there’s no need to extend Oswestry towards the Hill Fort, except to make money for someone.
Yet the Council persists, using every old chestnut in the book…
There’s the tactic, as ancient as humanity, of asking for more than you want – hence the proud announcement that discussions with English Heritage have resulted in “a significant reduction in the scale of development“. In other words be grateful it’s not worse. The Ministry of Transport used that habitually 3 decades ago – “look, one of our rejected options for the new road was straight through your houses!”
They’ve also tried the “It’s for the good of the victim” approach perfected by mining company and self-proclaimed enviro-saints Tarmac plc at Thornborough Henges, suggesting the development could provide “a vast improvement to access and parking at the Hillfort” and the never missing appeal to the pocket of the locals: “which can only be good news for the site and the wider visitor economy of Oswestry.”
All three tactics pretty much insult the intelligence of the listeners – for take another close look at the satellite view. It really doesn’t need doing just there, does it? Except to make money for someone. Diana Baur has penned a letter that expresses the reality so clearly that it’s worth reproducing here:
“English Heritage is a government funded organisation and the government have housing targets. Discussions between English Heritage and the “promoter of building sites” will be a one-sided discussion. It will not be democratic and so is unlikely to be in in the interests of the people of Oswestry.
The very fact that some “scaling back” of the plans has apparently already taken place suggests that the voice of reason might just have peeked its head over the parapet.
The trouble is the voice of reason is cloaked and choked by the gods of “profit” and “targets” and “self-interest”- gods that currently stalk the corridors of council chambers and Whitehall itself.
If we are to walk tall into a new post-industrial age leaning heavily upon the goddesses of “community” and “common sense”, then we need more than just a scaling back. We need a whole new outlook on what is valuable in life.
The rampant gambling that led to the crash of 2008 is still going on. We don’t need a bit of “tweaking at the edges”. There needs to be a complete change of heart. The hillfort represents one of those extremely valuable things that makes life worth living and that must be preserved.”