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BeWILDerwood is a theme park
10:35am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Letters
WHILE not a member of STAG (the Save Tatton Action Group), I felt I had to write in support of their efforts after reading the misguided and misinformed letter from Audrey Rogers in your column on February 27.
Having studied the planning application on the Cheshire East Council website I can confirm that BeWILDerwood is a theme park.
I quote from the Town and Country Planning Act 1999, which states categorically that ‘any adventure playground larger than 0.5 ha is classed as a theme park’.
I note that Ms Rogers used the same line as the BeWILDerwood promoters in as much as ‘theme park’ was STAG’s intention to be deliberately misleading. Wrong – it is a fact.
Without the (obviously effective) STAG banners, the public would be less aware of the proposals to devastate Tatton Park.
Not only was the consultation process flawed, but after trying to keep details secret, the council, through the persistence of a local resident, has only now admitted proposing to lend more than £5 million of local taxpayers’ money (hers and mine) to a private firm in Norfolk to build this theme park.
Having listened to residents at the recent Knutsford strategy meeting, improving our dreadful roads and reinstating the local community services it is so wilfully cutting should be higher on the council’s spending list than lending that money to fund an unproven, unwanted and unnecessary enterprise.
As she suggested, I have taken a moment to consider the wishes of Lord Egerton.
He bequeathed Tatton Park to the National Trust for it to be preserved for the nation to enjoy its ‘historic interest and natural beauty’.
Although owned by the National Trust, it is managed by the council – obviously a job not well done, as it now has to resort to commercial enterprises to keep it going.
I agree wholeheartedly that Maurice Egerton wanted to encourage children to enjoy the great outdoors, not using man-made structures, but in Tatton Park’s natural environment.
Interestingly, the National Trust recently published a flyer for children on ‘50 things to do before you are 11’ – none of which involved parents paying a fortune to go to a theme park.
It is sad that she feels the council ‘has its heart in the right place’.
Hasn’t she considered the impact the predicted numbers of cars will have on our local roads, not to mention within the park itself?
The writer obviously cares little about where her food (and that of her grandchildren) comes from, as it is important to point out that a large amount of farmland will be sacrificed to build car parks.
The more farms and green belt land are demolished, the more food will have to be imported from unknown sources abroad.
Unlike most people, she also must have a large pension pot, as taking her grandchildren to BeWILDerwood for a few hours will be expensive.
Having fun at the Home Farm and experiencing Tatton Park’s natural beauty is not.
J WOODHOUSE George Street Knutsford