Jun 212019

PENN & TYLERS GREEN RESIDENTS SOCIETY AGM 2019 – and HUMAN+NATURE presentation on the Gomm Valley Development.

The Parish Rooms were packed for the occasion, firstly to hear the President, Earl Howe, describe  60 years of successive P&TG community associations since 1959, running through some of the changes and events over the years leading to the current Residents Society.

The full report is published http://pennandtylersgreen.org.uk/about-us/history/?v=79cba1185463

Following this the Society’s AGM was concluded mercifully quickly and without dissent, a very satisfactory financial report approved, and new Directors formally appointed.

Then came Jonathan Smales, Chairman of the development company Human+Nature to give a detailed presentation of their vision for the Gomm Valley – to be ‘The Greenest and Most Elegant New Place in England’.  Wow!  Really?

Many there will have come away with a host of questions and doubts buzzing in their heads.

The presentation gave us a glimpse into what H+N have in mind:  a very green, low environmental- impact, largely self-contained community of 1000 dwellings occupying just 8% of the lower valley;  its own shops, a cafe, a school, possibly even a GP surgery.  Everywhere else to remain as open but well-managed grassland, woodland and hedges – with, as a huge bonus compared to the present situation, open access on all-weather paths up and down the valley.

So many questions.  Who will choose to live there?  It calls for residents determined to recognise and embrace the developers’ vision.  How long, as 5000 newly-planted trees mature, will it all survive as envisaged?   Will the new businesses be, and remain, viable?  Will the planners have the imagination to accept and approve it essentially as proposed?  Will the powers that be ever approve a  ‘natural swimming pond’ as acceptably safe?

For us in P&TG it recognises the potentially awful traffic impacts of these Gomm Valley developments on the village; not just building in a deliberately narrow, convoluted spine road to deter through traffic, but by insisting that it still does not necessitate the adjacent Cock Lane to be widened.

 This is a very serious proposal.  H+N have already invested and expect to further spend a huge sum on the preliminaries – up to £80m.  For those interested there is fascinating detail on their website:


It comes down to this.  We either get another bog-standard housing development;  or we have the courage to go for a visionary – even if some may say utopian – plan for our climate-changing future.  If that’s the choice I know which gets my vote.

Russell Read


 Posted by at 11:58 am

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