Monday, October 05, 2009

Great – But Not The Line In The Sand That Some Will Want To Believe

Clameur de Haro was delighted to join with 7000 of his fellow islanders at St Ouen’s Bay yesterday in protesting the despoilation of our beautiful coastline by some truly hideous over-developments, for he seldom views the architectural excrescences at La Coupe, Portelet, Le Hocq and above St Aubin without shaking his head in disbelief at how they could have secured planning approval. So - many congratulations to Mike Stentiford and all his colleagues.
CdeH was particularly heartened also by the Planning Applications Panel’s decision unanimously to reject the proposed development of 73 chalets at Plemont. He found it disturbing however that the department’s civil servants apparently recommended its approval on planning grounds, for how anyone could envisage 73 chalets to constitute a substantial environmental gain defies belief. This is surely an area for an independent enquiry into the internal departmental processes.
But – a small word of warning. CeH noted the presence on St Ouen’s Bay of one or two politicians from the left-green end of the political spectrum, for whom the protection of the natural heritage is just part of a wider and more radical agenda for anti-business, heavily-taxing, aggressively redistributive economic and fiscal policies, and the imposition of either curbs or costs on individual freedom, advocated in the cause of environmental rectitude but equally in line with the collectivist ideologies to which they subscribe to greater or lesser extent.
The overwhelming majority of those to whom Clameur de Haro spoke were not in this category – they were there to protest against unsympathetic coastline encroachments (and rightly so), but that was all. So the left-green activists should beware – there is, justifiably, a huge mandate for resisting some of the planning approvals coming from the pen of Greenwash Freddie The Environment Minister, but that does not mean a 7000-person mandate for socialism.
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