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Redevelopment on the banks of the Avon in Melksham

Conigre Mead is safe - and was intact at 07:30 this morning. So is the river frontage to the North of the reserve, and the churchyard. About 70% of the heavily overgrown brownfield area between the current Sainsbury's store and nature reserve - including derelict drainage ponds that became redundant when Melksham Gate was installed on the river - have been cleared for Sainsubury's expansion. I'll show you some pictures.

Pools in the reserve


Conigre Mead and river Avon in winter


Conigre Mead, Feb 11


Clearing the old flood pools outside the nature reserve


Riverside walk


old flood pools outside the reserve


When a site / old piece of manmade structure falls into dereliction, it can become an eyesore. And then nature takes over and gradually it becomes more natural; leave it long enough and some interesting wildlife - plants and animals - can move it, and leave it longer and you end up with some quite substantial trees - especially if they are fast-growing types. And it becomes harder (and more emotive) to reuse that land. It's very arguable as to when the old area - with square-edged pits that are unnatural in shape, and with components that are not from nature - becomes a natural environment that perhaps should be preserved.

Outside the nature reserve, there are remaining elements of these pits and indeed the start of the nature reservoir includes the final pits, and it was lovely to walk down there this morning. Any loss of nature is regrettable, and a loss of nature close to the town centre is regrettable too for it lessens what we have to offer when boats come to the river, and when we seek to encourage tourism into our green and pleasant town. We need the green components to do that. But - looking forward 50 years, looking at growing housing and population demand through to 2060, less that 2% of currently agricultural / green / natural land will be built upon - and that's a worst estimate.

Why did I go down to Conigre Mead at first light? Because a forum post told me that it had all gone. And then told me I was wrong when I questioned that. I wanted to check with my own eyes. And I saw what I expected - the start of development that the town council and the county had opposed, but which had then been allowed to go ahead on appeal to central government. Whether we agree (or not) with the Sainsbury's expansion - and it is something I have never expressed a view on - the time for saying "no" and appealing against it has long since passed, and we should all work together to integrate the improved shopping facilities that will be provided into the natural beauty of the river bank and nearby nature reserve for the mutual benefit of the people of Melksham, visitors to Melksham, and the planet as a whole.
(written 2011-02-25)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z301 - Current Affairs
  [4691] Real life PHP application using our course training MVC example - (2016-06-05)
  [4637] People matter - but there is a tradeoff between different people in there - (2016-02-01)
  [4599] Happy Christmas - and a Christmas thought - (2015-12-24)
  [4429] Wind Turbines - beauty or menace? - (2015-02-17)
  [3720] Melksham ATC - freedom of the town - (2012-05-05)
  [3646] Exploring Melksham with a film maker - (2012-03-09)
  [3467] Charities v Charitable. The cost of collecting your donation. - (2011-10-06)
  [3385] Do university courses teach the right things for life at work later on? - (2011-08-10)
  [3357] Business, priorities, and volunteering - (2011-07-14)
  [3347] The Anthony trial - Orange County, Florida. Thoughts on conclusion - (2011-07-06)
  [3282] The future of canal management and charities - Kennet and Avon Canal bias - (2011-05-08)
  [3265] Alternative Vote (AV) - cutting the crap - (2011-04-25)
  [3231] Footpath, Bridleway, Byway, Road used as Public Path - (2011-04-04)
  [3228] What can you take on a public footpath? Pram? Wheelbarrow? Dog? Shopping Trolley? Horse? Cycle? - (2011-04-03)
  [3126] Car Parking in Melksham - thoughts on the proposed scheme, and wider thoughts too - (2011-01-09)
  [3030] Liquorice allsorts and Dolly Mixtures - (2010-11-05)
  [3028] VAT rise in January - it is really up 14% not just 2.5% - (2010-11-03)
  [2995] A river in Melksham is not just for boaters. - (2010-10-11)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2904] Melksham Area Board meeting of last week - (2010-08-04)
  [2852] Atworth Village Fete - on the Melksham Community Area Partnership stand - (2010-07-04)
  [2776] Regional Spatial Strategy and the next 20 years - Whence Wiltshire under the new government? - (2010-05-22)
  [2666] Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08)
  [2602] East of Melksham - Building Work Starts - (2010-01-28)
  [2574] Summary of Wiltshire Core Strategy responses - (2010-01-13)
  [2514] The road show has been - where now? - (2009-11-27)
  [2508] Community Area Partnership - inaugural AGM - (2009-11-20)
  [2289] pre-Inaugural briefing - Melksham Community Area Partnership - (2009-07-15)
  [2128] Wiltshire - where everybody matters - (2009-04-13)
  [2112] Whatever next ... the joys of being an employer - (2009-04-01)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [1960] Christmas Survivors - (2008-12-25)
  [1275] Incident in Melksham - (2007-07-24)
  [1214] New Serieses for the summer on TV - (2007-06-02)
  [614] News in Ireland - (2006-02-20)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [33] 10 Years of experience - (2004-08-30)

Z521 - Navigable waterways - Canals, Rivers and Sea
  [4577] An update - Melksham Link Canal and river - (2015-11-14)
  [4472] Rosslare to Fishguard - foot passenger on the ferry - (2015-04-24)
  [3998] Travelogue - from the Netherlands to London via Hook and Harwich - (2013-02-07)
  [3815] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 2, TransWilts Rail, Wilts and Berks Canal - (2012-07-23)
  [3483] Canals, watererways in the Melksham area - (2011-10-16)
  [3482] Taking a boat down Caen Hill Locks - (2011-10-15)
  [3345] Cruising - (2011-07-04)
  [3266] Easter on the Canal - near Melksham, Wiltshire - (2011-04-26)
  [3157] A new monopoly on the ferry to Northern Ireland - (2011-02-04)
  [3023] Autumn walk from Bowerhill - (2010-10-31)
  [2950] Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, turns first sod in Melksham Link Canal - (2010-09-09)
  [2807] Canal through Melksham - the options and issues - (2010-06-13)
  [2796] Sunday - waiting for the ferry. - (2010-06-06)
  [2730] Bird Watching on the Melksham Avon - (2010-04-18)
  [2588] Freddies Wood and the K and A Canal - (2010-01-17)
  [1986] Walk to Bowerhill - (2009-01-10)
  [1657] Farewell, Newcastle to Stavanger, Haugsund and Bergen - (2008-05-29)
  [820] Robert and William Whitworth - (2006-08-01)
  [793] The Wilts and Berks Canal - (2006-07-05)
  [776] Naming Rooms - (2006-06-24)
  [708] Linescapes of Mull - (2006-05-03)
  [598] Should we cruise around the world? - (2006-02-09)


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Visiting relatives
Redevelopment on the banks of the Avon in Melksham
What we look for in a lunchtime cafe restaurant in Melksham
Beware - a=a+b and a+=b are different - Python
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Oops - I typed ci not vi, and have lost my file ...
The cost of roadworks on the economy of our town - 1800 pounds per hour?
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