For Immediate Release.

Following a meeting with Crest Nicholson on 30th May 2018, the Preserve Treloar Meadows Campaign (PTMC) steering committee deeply regrets that the developer has made it clear they are not interested in scaling down or working with this group to mitigate the effects of their huge development on Treloar Meadows. Further, they are intent on blocking any attempt at conducting a full and thorough Environmental Impact assessment.

Within minutes of the start of the meeting it became clear that it was just a PR-stunt to enable them to say they had met with us. There was no room, apparently, for looking at wider corridors for wildlife, nor moving the road that cuts through one of the most beautiful parts of the meadow.

We acknowledge that there will have to be an access road, but surely the actual routing can be adjusted to minimise the impact?

The car park and play park will have to remain too, according to Crest Nicholson, who cite EHDC for setting the perimeters and so they claim they can effectively change nothing.

Putting a play area in the meadows where Adders live seems a recipe for disaster. There is an existing play area in the Treloar Heights estate which sorely needs renovating. It would be far better to improve that facility than destroy another part of the meadows.

We were horrified to hear that Crest Nicholson’s idea of what feedback they expected from their very short exhibition, given at very short notice, was “what type and where to put picnic tables“. In a statement that shows a complete disregard for the wildlife, they have said the planned “Country Park” would have short MOWED areas.

In another comment, they mentioned that they would be carrying out their own ecological surveys. When pressed on the details it was admitted that these were for the “future management of the country park“. That is too late for existing wildlife. They talk of planting flora to feed the fauna. It’s already there, leave it alone. Do not mow wide areas and only mow pathways, rather than put in hard surfaces.

As for Japanese Knotweed, they acknowledge that it is found on site. The developer claims the site was not only sprayed, but the Japanese Knotweed has been physically removed as well. When and how?

We are disappointed that the developer is not willing to look again at limiting the scale of the development to make it possible for wildlife to co-exist on these meadows.

More bad news for existing Treloar Heights estate residents, too – we were alarmed to hear that the build out will take 4 to 5 years! The building work cannot begin until the Butts bridge work is completed. Meaning a total of 6 years of development! Surely that alone in terms of huge disruption to existing residents should be grounds for an EIA?

PTMC will continue to fight this development on behalf of the people and wildlife of Alton, who deserve nothing less than a full and thorough EIA for this site.