We fear that the arrangements for the walk planned for 30th August have had to be altered. The walk will no longer be a formal event arranged by the Friends of the Forster Country (FoFC). Instead some FoFC members will be walking around Forster Country starting at 2.30pm as planned that day to celebrate the beauty of the countryside. Of course anyone is free to walk Forster Country footpaths at any time in an entirely informal way, individually or in bubbles, maintaining social distancing. It would be good to see many people strolling in the countryside on that day so if you had already planned to join the formal walk, why not come along anyway and feel free to wander around independently for as long as you want.
Stevenage Borough Council would like us to follow ‘event procedures’ and there is insufficient time to organise this. We regarded the afternoon walk as a celebration of Forster Country; if it became a protest march, numbers might have been too high for safety. We thought our Covid 19 precautions made the afternoon safe but potentially higher numbers than we planned for make us feel less certain.
Have you enjoyed walking, running and cycling in this beautiful countryside during the last few months and would you like to help save it from development.
The Forster Country Planning Application will be reviewed again now that the Secretary of State has sent it back to SBC, so we have one final chance to try and save it!
The lockdown has underlined how important it is for people to have easy access to open countryside for both their physical and mental wellbeing.
Last time the vote was close, with a majority of just two in favour of approving the Application. That was pre-pandemic. There have been changes to the Planning Committee since then, with some new members and a new Chairman. Changing one or two minds will make all the difference.
You can help by emailing the members of SBC planning committee, letting them know how much you value the area and ask them to vote against the Planning Application. SBC’s current Local Plan was based on 2014 population statistics, but 2016 statistics demonstrate that the town’s housing requirement can be fulfilled without building 800 homes on Forster Country.
Councillors' email addresses are on the next page
To commemorate the death of E M Forster 50 years ago, the glossy magazine, Hertfordshire Life have an article on Forster and his home in Hertfordshire.
To a long standing supporter there will be little new but it will more interesting for newcomers and it is always good to see what people think of our cause.
More News Items
- A Summer Celebration Walk
- Glimmer of Hope snuffed out
- Glimmer of Hope from Whitehall
- A reminder of what we might lose
- Housing Estate on Forster Country
- Report on 2020 Birthday Walk
- Forster Birthday Walk, Jan 1 201
- Support from MP seeking re-election
- Objections to revised Planning Application 17/00862/OPM
- Look East