As Liberal Democrat councillors on Newark and Sherwood District Council, we wish to express our great relief that agreement appears to have been reached today between the Council and Datch Properties, which avoids the felling of several mature trees and the tarmacking of green space next to Newark library and allows the area to continue to be enjoyed and used by local people. Being timed at the end of the CoP 26 conference, it is good to know that environmental considerations have won out over short-term financial difficulties. Many people from various political persuasions and many local people without political affiliation have contributed to the groundswell of opinion, which made this last-minute reprieve possible and everyone who has lobbied, commented and protested peacefully should be congratulated. Needless to say, we will both be voting to approve this deal at the forthcoming extraordinary full council meeting.
In the longer term there will, in our view, need to be an examination of the past discussions and decisions made, which resulted in this difficult situation arising. As indicated by Cllr. Keith Girling, mistakes have been made and it is vital to learn from those mistakes to prevent reoccurrence. High drama situations, while newsworthy, are not the way to implement Green policies in our district and the risks of confrontation and physical harm are real. It should not have been necessary for several brave members of the community to camp out overnight to ensure the protection of this space, for example.
We look forward to being part of the ongoing discussions and working with other councillors to ensure that Newark and Sherwood truly does become more Green.
Cllr Peter Harris
Cllr Malcolm Brock
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