They came from Cliffe, they came from Eccles, they came from Tunbridge Wells, they came from Folkestone, they came from Thanet… north, south, east and west, they came from across the county to join Kent’s Day of Action.
More than 1,000 people gathered on Sunday, November 28, for the Save Kent’s Green Spaces protest organised by Dave Lovell. All were expressing their anger and upset over the loss of so much countryside to development.
The turnout of more than 30 groups on a bitingly cold day was an extraordinary result, especially given the short notice of the event.
Mr Lovell, who had been so involved with the Save Capel group, said: “At least 30 groups came out, some of them joining up together. Most sent us photos and many of these have placed in a digital photo album.”
Highlighting the staggering onslaught facing Kent in the coming years, Mr Lovell said: “We’ve estimated that 17,000 acres are under threat of widespread development – an area larger than Manhattan Island – but we know that’s nowhere near the true figure and that is scary.
“The figures don’t cover just housing – they include solar farms, for example. And there’s the concern that those solar farms are the thin end of the wedge, paving the way for housing that will theoretically get its power from them. They can be a trigger for further development, which is happening around Capel [near Tunbridge Wells].”
Sadly, many reading this will concur wholeheartedly with Mr Lovell’s view that “there is a huge scale of destruction coming like nothing we’ve seen before”.
“This counting of the destruction of countryside is not being done by councils – no one is actually counting how much is being lost,” he added.
He was understandably delighted that so many people came out: “It was a fantastic response. Anyone can put ‘likes’ or emojis on social media – it’s much harder to get feet on the ground.
“When we started this, we had no idea what the response would be. But on the day itself we were sitting in the pub after our walk and the phones were going ballistic as the pictures came in. Then we had an idea of what we had achieved.”
Wednesday, December 15, 2021