Saturday, 1 April 2017

Would a Savage Metro Mayor savage the green belt?

Would you support a West Country Metro Mayor candidate who wanted to see the removal of much of the green belt around Bristol and Bath? By 2050 merging the two cities into one? John Savage, independent candidate for the West of England Metro Mayor advocated this in 2010/11 in a book that is linked to on his campaign website.

“It will happen. We must make it happen" said Savage (Bristol Post, Dec 2010)

As Chairman of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Executive Chairman of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative, former board member of the Regional Development Agency and former Chairman of the South West Learning and Skills Council Dr Savage has a great deal of experience to offer. However unless his view has changed he is advocating development that takes no account of future generations and ignores what the environment provides. Building over green belt land permanently removes an area where agriculture, forestry and outdoor leisure can prevail, preventing urban sprawl. Land would no longer be kept open.
The creation of this much larger west country continuous urban area (which would be an economic powerhouse, according to Savage) would mean getting rid of the green belt between Bristol and Bath, green-field expansion to envelope Bristol Airport and a population massively increased by perhaps 500,000, needing 300,000 jobs and 200,000 houses. This is development regardless of the consequences rather than sustainable development that meets needs and enhances genuine prosperity. 
John Savages motivation is not just economic it seems. In 2010 he said this in the Bristol Post
“...I am a religious man, and I certainly felt the Big Man upstairs had some sort of plan for me to make a significant difference somewhere."

Getting rid of or substantially shrinking the Bristol-Bath green belt would make a significant difference - but not for the better.

The link below went to the 2010 Bristol Post story about this until a few weeks ago. John Savage then launched his campaign to be Metro Mayor - and now the link only takes you to the main Bristol Post news page. Coincidence I guess. 
See my original blog posts about this issue in 2010 and 2011 here:

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