Photographs of Thorpe woodlands, their varied habitats, plantlife and wildlife all taken by friends and supporters. most taken between 2010 and 2013

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Trust's broken promise on video

At the start of the final presentation of the Thorpe & Felthorpe Trust's 'charette' their agent, Andres Duany told the audience: "There's no need to take notes - all of this is being recorded [motioning to a tripod-mounted camera and fluffy microphone at the back of the hall] and you can all get a copy when this is over". In view of this promise, most people didn't take notes. That was on July 13th.

The video should contain footage of the heated exchanges between Save Thorpe Woodlands supporters and Duany, which exposed his lack of knowledge or, apparently, interest in the woodlands' ecology. The use of the term should is necessary because nobody has yet seen the video. The T&FT have been sent innumerable requests for it (to their email address: ) dating from July 15th up to last week. T&FT ingnored all emails until this fact was highlighted in a letter from FTW to the Evening News on September 3rd. This prompted a brief flurry of email responses, merely repeating what they'd said during their 'charette' and failing to challenge anything FTW has said about their scheme. These emails promised that the video would be made available "soon" on their website.

On September 8th I sent T&FT an email requesting confirmation that the full video would be made available and that it would not be an edited and sanitised version. Their reply, of October 1st, reads:

"We are sorry that it has taken so very long to get the video up onto our website, we have in fact had to change our website providers in order to do this, we really do hope to have it up and running within the next few days. The charette and final presentation were all fully public events: to provide an edited and sanitised version would be completely counter to our approach"

As I write it is November 2nd, and still no sign of the video. In fact the T&FT's website hasn't changed since July 13th. One can't help wondering whether T&FT would rather not let anyone have a video recording of their representative displaying his ecological ignorance, or repeating the assertion that the woods are merely conifer plantations due for harvesting like a farm crop. This is an important matter because the video will provide solid evidence on a number of important points, not least of which being Duany's statement that the outcome of their 'charette' was that they had decided on 631 houses for the woods.

The Examination in Public (EiP) into the GNDP's Joint Core Strategy starts on November 9th. If we had that video, we could discredit the T&FT's statement to the EiP that the outcome of their 'charette' was that 700-800 houses could be built. We wonder whether they'll manage to fix their technical problems by then?

It is very hard to believe that the T&FT, which could afford to spend around £300,000 on thier 'charette', can't find a web designer capable of making the video work. And - if it really is so problematic - why can't they simply make copies on DVD and post them to whoever requests one, as was implied by a member of the 'charette' staff immediately after the final presentation? Surely such stalling must be completely counter to their approach?

If you think T&FT should keep their promise and, at the very least, provide a DVD copy to FTW, why not email them and ask? That email address again: . It would be useful if you could copy any emails you send, and any replies, to FTW, on:

1 comment:

  1. Their continued inability to provide the video says it all. They are just treating local residents with contempt. And Thorpe woodlands with ignorance.