Save The Ribble

A blog dedicated to preserving the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the River Ribble, and opposing the Riverworks 'vision' to build a barrage on our River and develop on our riverbanks, floodplains and green spaces, causing damage to wildlife and the environment and increasing the risk of flooding to our homes. Save the Ribble Campaign is not responsible for the content of external blogs or websites which link here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ribbleside Green Belt SAVED! Alternative Ribble Vision Gets Green Light!

South Ribble Borough Council have announced that the Ribbleside Green Belt from Penwortham to Walton le Dale and back as far as Lostock Hall is to be designated a Country Park!
Penwortham riverside, near the old Tram Bridge across the River Ribble - 5 minutes walk from Preston city centre!

This announcement follows hard on the heels of South Ribble Borough Council's insistence earlier this week that the Ribble's riverbanks and Green Belt areas will be protected from development.

South Ribble Borough Council have listened to the alternative ideas put forward by local people for the River Ribble and riverside Green spaces which involve protecting these unique and precious areas from disappearing for ever beneath the huge housing development, concrete walkways, roads, and businesses proposed as part of the Riverworks "Central Park" building development.

Under the Preston City Council and Preston Vision Board "Riverworks" 'Central Park' scheme, a little over 1 hectare out of the 45 hectares of green space on the Penwortham side would have been reserved for open space and leisure, the rest would have been lost forever: including a huge 33 hectares which would have been lost beneath a massive housing scheme, with the remaining hectares divided up amongst commercial developments, concrete moorings, and such like.



With South Ribble Borough Council's latest announcement, the entire green area will be preserved for the new South Ribble Country Park!


Penwortham Green Belt across the Ribble from Avenham & Miller Parks in Preston

This is fantastic news for local people, ensuring our beautiful green spaces of meadows, woodlands, and riverbanks are protected from development both now and in the future, safeguards the future of our local sports pitches, wildlife and the environment - in particular helping to ensure the environmental sustainability of the River Ribble's wildlife ecosystem - and of course ensures that our vitally important floodplain is left undeveloped so it can carry on protecting local communities from more serious flooding.

Since local people all along the Ribble corridor first heard about those two significant aspects of the Riverworks proposals which would have seen the riverside and Green spaces disappear forever beneath these huge building schemes, and the Ribble's unique intertidal ecosystem destroyed by a tidal barrage across the River Ribble, they have campaigned tirelessly for these ill-conceived schemes to be halted.

As part of this opposition, local residents have put forward alternative ideas which centre on protecting the Ribble's Internationally important intertidal habitat and the riverside green spaces, for the sake of the environment, and for the benefit of local people and visitors alike.


With consistent arguments against the barrage from all quarters finally leading to the current administration of Preston City Council withdrawing the barrage scheme in the final weeks of 2007, the first phase of our campaign was achieved, to much local - and national - rejoicing.

Now with South Ribble Borough Council's announcements this week, the second phase of our campaign has also been achieved, as we have now secured the long-term future of the green spaces on the South Bank of the Ribble at last...



...let's hope this Green Vision will now extend onto the Preston bank!


Of course, a Ribbleside Country Park just 5 minutes walk from Preston city centre is not only fantastic for local communities both in Preston and South Ribble, but also for visitors, as this unique area can now become a part of Britain's newest Regional Park, Ribble Coast & Wetlands.
The Ribble Coast & Wetlands Regional Park extends all along the intertidal Ribble from where the Ribble Estuary meets the Irish Sea at Blackpool and Lytham on the North shore and Southport and Formby on the South shore, and upriver for several miles into the centre of Preston and Penwortham and our newly-designated South Ribble Country Park and finishing at the new Brockholes Wetland, just East of Preston.

As the Lancashire Evening Post editorial points out:

"After all the controversy about a barrage on the river, housing development on the flood plain and a link road to relieve congestion, comes a council proposal for central Lancashire which should find favour with the vast majority [with] South Ribble want[ing] to create a large park which would... open up swathes of greenbelt land between Penwortham, Lostock Hall and Walton le Dale to the public".




POSTSCRIPT: We have received dozens of emails from local residents and environmental organisations, delighted with this latest announcement, and apparently settling the concerns that so many people have had about the Ribble barrage and riverside development proposals, so here's a flavour of the many comments we have received - we cannot print them all!...

“This is tremendous news. I am so pleased… Congratulations!
Of course, we will still have to keep our eyes and ears open, but maybe, just maybe, we will get a similar response from this side of the river.” MS, Preston


“…fantastic! thank you” J&M&M&B, Penwortham.

“Many thanks for this good news. It makes a welcome change. I hope that Preston now joins South Ribble in a joint country park on both sides of the Ribble; I live in hope!” ATB, Preston

“Thank you so much.. what good news!” CP, Penwortham.

“Congratulations all round.” J

“Well done! Great news” L&M

“Congratulations on helping to bring about another victory with the announcement from South Ribble.” SP

“ WOOOO HOO!” SE


And from many of our environmental contacts…

“Fantastic news …Great reward for all your hard work.”

“This is very good news indeed. Congratulations to you and all those involved in this tireless campaign”.

“Very good news indeed.”

“Fantastic, well done”

“Excellent news and progress - you have done exceptionally well with your campaign and this is all well deserved!”



Save The Ribble would like to thank all local residents who have supported the campaign to Save Our Ribble and Green Spaces, and all the help and support we have received from professional bodies too: we are just ordinary people, local residents ourselves, who knew we could not just sit back and allow inappropriate developments which would destroy not just our local environment, but the wider environment upon which our wildlife ecosystems depend.

Of course, this latest success doesn't mean that we local residents will no longer be taking an interest - far from it: we are keen to be involved in the long term future of the intertidal River Ribble and the new South Ribble Country Park, and will of course continue to be vigilant regarding any ideas and proposals put forward regarding the Ribble corridor in recent weeks, and in the future, including Ribble corridor development proposals proposed by Preston Vision Board and other recent proposals for floating homes and watersports...

Long Live the Ribble - and Ribbleside Green Belt - Wild!

You can read more about the Ribble Coast & Wetlands Regional Park here;
and more about South Ribble Borough Council's commitment to the Ribble here;
Brockholes Wetland here and here;
about Sustainable Development and Wetlands here;
and about the damage barrages cause to wetland ecosystems here.

You can contact us at savetheribble@tiscali.co.uk

3 Comments:

At 3:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fantastic news! Well done Save the Ribble and all other local people who, like ourselves, have pointed out that preserving this area as a protected wildlife Park and keeping the River Ribble natural and flowing is so important!
And it will be an added attraction for visitors to the area as well as great for us Prestonians and of course local residents south of the river.

It is a great relief to know that our walks by the river can continue - we always walk upriver through the parks to the Tram Bridge then back down the other side, taking in the fields and woodlands whenever we can - but even if we haven't time to spend hours out, just half an hour of clean fresh air, birds singing, the river babbling by, and fantastic panoramic views across to Walton le Dale and the far end of Penwortham is priceless. We work hard all week so that quality time out in the fresh air whenever we want - without having to drive somewhere! - keeps us sane and happy.

We really hope that Preston Council take a nice green leaf out of South Ribble Council's book and think very carefully about what they have planned for the riverside areas...
Thanks Save The Ribble for all your hard work!

 
At 12:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great news and a great relief! Surely after Preston City Council's abandonment of the barrage idea this is the final nail in the coffin of the Riverworks scheme and should ensure the long-term protection of our River and green space environment. This may be bad news for the ambitions of Preston Vision Board but hopefully Preston City Council will engage with the idea of a Country Park so close to the city centre as it will be of equal benefit to both Preston and South Ribble residents.
John

 
At 1:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! we're so happy about this news, which, on top of the great news that Preston aren't pursuing their barrage, is the best news we've had for many years. Hopefully now we can relax and enjoy our fantastic environment - one of the reasons we moved close to the river in Penwortham in the first place, but it has been spoiled by the threat of losing such a beautiful and unique resource, a threat which has hung over us for several years now. But no longer! All of our friends and family in Broadgate and Penwortham are equally thrilled!
Sue

 

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