|Penwood Motor Cycle Rally Fears - more news
8 May 2004
A number of Sir George's constituents who live in or near Penwood, within Highclere Parish Council, have contacted him about the lack of effective consultation on the part of the Forestry Commission, who propose to permit a motor cycle rally in Great Pen Wood, which adjoins the gardens of local houses and is approached along a very narrow lane.
"From the Commission's letter, my constituents gained the impression that their views were being sought before a decision by the Commission. However, a further letter suggested that it was a fait accompli - the decision had been made and residents were merely being informed."
Residents are worried about increased traffic, noise and the subsequent unauthorised use of the woods by motorcyclists, as well as the impact on wildlife in this important area of protected woodlands.
"I've written to the Forestry Commission asking them to revisit their decision, and have just had their reply. They have told me that no fnal decision on granting permission for the motor cycle event has been taken."
"They recognise that this "could be seen as a noisy and potentially damaging event" and this is precisely why my constituents are worried. They seem to believe that, by having one legal event, this will make it less likely that there will be illegal activity - but I fear the opposite may happen. Once it is on the map as an authorised site for one event, more people will know about it and be tempted to use it."
"I understand that the Forestry Commission are still waiting for a route map from the organisers. I will be making fresh representations to the Forestry Commission, urging them to turn this event down."
The rally is scheduled for Sunday, 18th July. Local people seeing my name associated with protests about this have been calling to find out who they should write to. My correspondence to date has been with:
Forest District Manager
Forestry Commission SE England District
Bucks Horn Oak
Farnham GU10 4LS
and you might want to copy me on anything you write.