In 2018 David Jarvis Associates' small plan to design a multi ability Activity Park on a Greenbelt site in Nutfield has evolved into something so much bigger.



As well as the activity park they now plan to build a ‘high quality, sustainable and inclusive’ development of 239 homes and assisted living units. Over 200 outraged locals have signed petitions against the plans, local student Emma Norman says “I think it's a great thing to have more housing in the area, however I am concerned about the effect this will have on the local wildlife”.  Others worry that the popular dog walking spot and natural beauty of the vast fields are to be destroyed. 


 Despite this, the planners have taken into consideration keeping parts of the tranquil scenery for example in the rehabilitation centre and Respite Care facility which plans to use the landscape as part of their ‘specially designed recovery garden’. Like the rehabilitation centre, health facilities are a big part of the plan as they aim to enhance the sustainability of the area by adding an NHS GP surgery, indoor and outdoor gyms with appropriate medical and sport treatment facilities. The planners recognise the importance of fitness and the effect it can have on mental health which is what they want to achieve by having the Activity Park as they list the benefits on their website as; reduction in stress levels, improved self esteem, better resilience and increased confidence. 


Although the list has many, many benefits, the drawbacks are left off. So what are the drawbacks?  As mentioned previously, the primary risk is of losing wildlife. In 2013 Simon Cowell MBE who is founder and chief executive of Wildlife Aid Foundation stated that “Losing Green Belt protection means concreting over fields, trees and hedges that currently provide essential wildlife corridors” and that “Biodiversity is vital, and this is about having a diversity of animals and plants as well as people. We are all part of the same community.” So is it ok to destroy one species' habitat to build another? 

The environmental impact can be devastating for local species including the European Rabbit, Roe deer and many species of birds which can often be seen in the fields. The decrease of animals such as these are vital for a functioning ecosystem. With global warming being such a big issue is this the time to destroy habitats and generate even more carbon dioxide? It is said that around 10% of the countrys carbon dioxide emissions are directly associated with construction activities, the number rises to 45% when taking into account the whole of the built environment sector. 


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