FARMERS WON'T BUDGE FOR MILLIONS
07:00 - 21 April
Paul and Jill Britten say they will never
leave their Whitchurch farm despite
developers offer them millions.
They say they
have already had generous offers for Whitewood Farm in Norton Lane, which is
on green belt land [and barely half a mile
north of Maes Knoll and Wansdyke, red.].
But the organic
beef farmers say they have farmed the land for
nearly 50 years and will not budge.
Mrs Britten, 65,
said: "We have already had developers
offering us money but we are not interested
we have put our lives into this farm.
more than 150 people packed a public meeting in Whitchurch to voice concerns at
plans for 9,500 homes in the area 8,000
in the Bath and North East Somerset
district and 1,500 within the Bristol boundary.
month the Post reported that residents had formed
a campaign group in a bid to stop the thousands
of homes being built.
The Protect Whitchurch Green Belt Alliance say
that having so many homes would rip the heart out
of their community.
And Mr and Mrs
Britten wholeheartedly support the campaign,
saying losing their farm would be a devastating
blow to them and their four daughters
Wendy, Briony, Marianne and Fiona three of
whom intend to play a part in the running of the
farm after their parents retire.
Mrs Britten said:
"Our daughters are interested in the farm
and our youngest daughter is very keen in taking
it over at some stage.
get good money for the land but we would have to
relocate and we don't want to do that we
have worked here all our lives.
"To me the
green belt is the issue. It was put there for a
reason and that reason still exists so it should
not be built on.
our lives and our dream. Who are they to wreck it?"
Her husband Paul,
64, said: "At the moment when I am on top of
the hill I can see 90 per cent of Bristol, which
means that Bristol can see 90 per cent of the
"I am the
last true farmer here. All the land to the north
of me is effectively owned by developers because
the farmers live 10 miles away.
"We are the
last bastion when we go that is it in
terms of farmers and the green belt will
disappear but we refuse to go.
is unique is an obsession for me. If we go
down we will go down fighting because it would be
a devastating blow to the whole family.
talk about at the moment is building houses, they don't talk about
building communities. The infrastructure is just
not here for all these houses."
month Dan Norris, Labour MP for Wansdyke,
who is pro-housing, said: "I am not totally
convinced that these houses should be focused around
"I do think
that this burden should be shared throughout the
communities in the district."
Protect Whitchurch Green Belt Alliance
campaigner Mike Parsons said: "These are
just the sort of people we need to help fight
this housing. They are a credit to Whitchurch and
represent the strength of feeling in the
month, the Bristol Evening Post
how Bristol Barbarians turned down an offer of £250,000
an acre for their 11-acre site at Norton Lane. It
would have brought the club a total of £2.75m.
information contact Fiona on 07752 029564.
[Source: This is Bristol.co.uk, 21 April 2009]