National Trust Disappointed At Lack Of Support

PUBLISHED: 15:37 25 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:38 04 May 2010

I WRITE in response to your article Now it s aggro-culture! published in the Ely Standard on November 20. The National Trust fully appreciates that for some readers the removal of land from cultivation may be an emotive issue, but one that needs to be

I WRITE in response to your article 'Now it's aggro-culture!' published in the Ely Standard on November 20.

The National Trust fully appreciates that for some readers the removal of land from cultivation may be an emotive issue, but one that needs to be placed in context. The total area of land under cultivation within the Wicken Fen Vision area is a tiny percentage of that under cultivation in the United Kingdom and a fragment of that lost annually to housing development and other infrastructure development.

It should also be borne in mind that a significant area of agricultural land within the Vision area is not currently used for food production.

The Trust is disappointed that that East Cambridge County Council decided to 'reserve' their support for the Wicken Fen Vision at a recent council meeting and will work with the council to regain their unequivocal support for the Vision and build on what has been a very positive relationship over the last 10 years. Senior councillors and council officers will be visiting Wicken in the near future and we look forward discussing their reservations and charting a way forward. The Trust very much hopes that the council will be able to formally reaffirm their support for the Vision as soon as possible.

I would like reassure everyone that the Trust is committed to consultation and sees it as a vital and essential on-going process as the Vision develops. In the last 18 months we have conducted extensive consultation which included 20,000 questionnaires delivered to households in and around the Vision area, a series of public meetings and drop-in sessions, attending parish council meetings, local neighbourhood panels, talks to range of local groups and societies and attending local events such as the Fenland Country Fair. The Trust received 550 written responses to the Wicken Fen Vision - Your Chance to Shape the Future consultation conducted earlier this year, significantly more than most local authorities receive in consultation exercises, of which 83% of respondents supported the Vision.

If anyone has concerns or questions about the Vision please contact us to discuss them. I and my team at Wicken Fen are always available to answer your questions.

CHRIS SOANS

Property Manager

National Trust - Wicken Fen

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