Nimbyism (Nimby standing for “Not In My Back Yard -Ed) is not something I could usually be accused of, given that I routinely reject the myth that this country is overcrowded, and call in particular for more house building. That does not, though, mean that all building is going to meet with my approval.
Take, for instance, the proposals to build a football pavilion in the Blenheim Park (The actual park, not the ward -Ed).
Now, community sports are a good thing. As a general rule I’d encourage such clubs on public land. But this proposal will involve building a sizeable facility on one of the few public, green spaces in the town. The loss of that green space should not, in my view, be waved through without careful consultation with residents.
Here I have the advantage of having spoken within the last two months to residents along Blenheim Chase, the adjacent road. As such I know that they have concerns about both the loss of the green space in the park, and of the parking problems which would be exacerbated by the increased usage of the area for sports events. Despite what the Council may think, this is a matter about which residents of Blenheim Park and Southend as a whole care.
This administration has a good record on listening to residents; whereas the previous Tory administration would plough onwards with what it wanted regardless of what residents wanted, the joint administration has shown that it will recognise when it has made a mistake and take measures to rectify those mistakes. I urge it to listen now, and I urge all residents who have an opinion on this to respond to the Council’s consultation.
I am no nimby, but I am a long way from convinced that this development is the best thing for Blenheim Park or Southend.