Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New ground in the green belt is unsustainable development

The Bristol Evening Post is absolutely right to speak out against plan to sell off and build over parks green spaces within the city (‘Council must see bigger picture’, Post June 29). I fully agree with them when they said that green spaces are ‘not simply there for this generation’ and that we are merely ‘custodians of these open spaces’. This sustainable development argument also applies to the green belt land where the new BCFC stadium is proposed. As a strong supporter of the proposed stadium however the Post is being very inconsistent - and one has to ask why.

Building a new BCFC stadium in the green belt is based on outmoded, old fashioned, discredited economic thinking. Our council has 'green capital' ambitions and so should be implementing sustainable development as an alternative to the current economic orthodoxy. Mainstream politics has said it was signed up to sustainable development decades ago but has done little or nothing to implement it.

Current economic thinking centres on growing the economy based on resources that are finite and non-renewable. There is only so much land for instance and we and other species need it for multiple purposes - using it for a game of football is hardly top priority.

We need instead to be selective about what grows in our economy -including football grounds - and ensure that economic development meets tests of: resource efficiency; renewability; being within environmental limits; meeting needs now and into the future; local and global fairness; human health, wellbeing and quality of life; stronger local communities. Town Green status for the land in Ashton Vale is in tune with sustainable devleopment and so I fully support it.

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