Letter from MMETAG to Times & Citizen 02/10/08

2 October 2008
News Editor
Times & Citizen
Dear Sir,
I have today read the article with Mr D Reavell (a director of O&H properties)  in todays T&C “Eco-town is popular claims its developer” and would like to reply on behalf of MMETAG (Marston Moreteyne Eco Town Action Group).
I cannot believe that Mr Reavell can be so belittling to an entire community. He mentions that a lot of people do not like change and that as we have grown up in the area we do not want to see it change. What planet is he on! Over the last 40 years this community has seen massive change; some good and some bad. We also accept that an area will evolve. What we do not accept or appreciate is one company and the goverment telling us that we should willingly accept 15,000 new houses which will somehow radically improve our existance.
I would also like to point out to David Reavell  that contrary to his belief we are not a band of village yocals from a bye gone age.  We are intelligent, rational people who care not only about the surrounding countryside he wishes to pave over but about a successful fully functional community that has taken over a thousand years to evolve. How dare he try to get around the issues we have pointed out to him and the government by trying to fob us off with suggesting we do not understand the bigger picture.
It’s amazing that since attending a meeting with him some months ago his figure for the requirement for homes in Mid Beds has risen 100% from 2500 to 5000.
I’m so glad O&H will give us substantial open space, football fields and lakes to enjoy because at present we have none of this do we. Wake up Mr Reavell ,open your eyes look out of  the window as you drive through.
To say a third of people want this development and again to suggest a third are apathetic shows how arogant O&H are. I do not see 700 people trying to march in favour of it and I have not heard one person say they are in favour.  Where are all of the action groups that support the 15,000 houses? If he can show overwheliming LOCAL support for his development lets see it.
He says local residents will benefit from new schools and better transport links. Whilst improving our standard of life is always welcome I do not understand why Marston Moretaine and other surrounding villages should be swept up in an urban sprawl to obtain this. We have great schools, great open space, very low unemployment and a new A421 road being built.
Thanks Mr Reavell  for pointing out that we can grow our own food on allotments and do our work on the internet. Such radical ideas. Such dynamic thinking. Definitely worth destroying the local area for. Wasn’t it developers who built on all the allotments in the first place and wasn’t it developers who built thousands of overpriced houses when they should have been building affordable housing?
Once again O&H have demonstrated they have no solid reason as to why we should accept this monstrosity and also show they are completely out of touch with  local opinion. Their comments are continually lame and have no firm footing.
The multi million pound company O&H is so interested in local residents that in 6 months it has given us one roadshow. This consisted of nine display boards which did not give hard facts or definates.  The only reason a series roadshows has been put in place is due to government intervention as O&H were told their public consultation was lacking.
Mr Reavell states a third of people were completely opposed to the development, a third were apathetic and a third were in favour.  In this case how can he explain that 91% of people polled on exiting the Marston Moreteyne roadshow objected to the development? Come on O&H tell us
It seems to MMETAG that O&H are trying to pacify local opposition by again and again reiterating the same old points – it’s just another massive building development dressed up as a utopian dream.
Craig Rolfe

5 thoughts on “Letter from MMETAG to Times & Citizen 02/10/08

  1. To the Editor, re. ‘Eco-town is popular claims the developer’ Times and Citizen October 2nd 2008. Please include this in the ‘Letters’ page if space allows.

    The outrageous claim made by Mr David Reavell, director at O & H properties, that plans to build 15,000 new homes in Marston Vale, which we know would include high rise blocks, is popular with local residents, defies the facts.

    Hundreds of local residents have taken part in demonstrations, signed petitions, joined action groups and even written to Caroline Flint, Housing Minister, enquiring about various aspects of this so called eco town. To date, as far as we know, no one has received a reply which may be because she is unable to defend such an unpopular proposal. David Reavell also claims that “a lot of people have grown up in this area and would like it to stay as it is” This may be true but is he seriously suggesting that their way of life would be superior in the concrete jungle he is proposing, as such a huge development would swamp this area and obliterate village life. He appears to overlook the fact that many of the protesters have CHOSEN to live here as opposed to living in a town, in order to enjoy the quality of life that can only be obtained by living in a smaller community.

    Finally he also suggests that his scheme will solve the housing needs of Bedford Borough and Mid Beds yet Wixams, which would fulfil these needs is temporarily at a standstill due to lack of take up. Completed properties are standing empty. The whole proposal is an anathema.

    Yours sincerely

    Gwen and James Brown

  2. Please see our response to the article in the Times & Citizen on 2nd October

    “Dear Sir/Madam

    We have to admit to being completely stunned when reading the Times and Citizen this week. The headline on Page 15 stated “Eco-town is popular claims developer”. The developer in question of course is O&H Properties, and it would seem that one of their directors, namely David Reavell, is living on another planet. At the end of August we attended O&H’s feeble attempt at a road-show, which by the way contained nothing with regard to hard facts about their plans for the eco-town, and we know for sure that an over-whelming majority of people who attended (91% we are informed by the action group) objected strongly to the eco-town. Also, on Saturday 20th September over 700 of us marched in defiant objection to the plans for the eco-town, and everyone we talk to about this in the village is 100% AGAINST the eco-town. As Mr. Reavell thinks that one third of people are opposed, one third are not bothered and one third are in support of it, we can therefore draw only one conclusion – He needs to learn how to use his calculator properly!

    Best regards,

    Jonathan & Joanne Gore”

  3. Please find below a letter we have just sent to The Times & Citizen.


    We have just read your article in The Times and Citizen, 2nd October, 2008. We were reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s famous quotation: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.” Mr Reavell is trying to fool all of the people all of the time – not possible.

    According to the exit poll taken by MMETAG at the recent ill conceived and ill prepared “consultation” exhibition in Marston Moreteyne Village Hall 91% of the people stated that they DID NOT want an Eco? Town, some of the remainder were undecided and a few were for it. One hundred per cent of people attending were asked for their opinion. Where are O & H getting their figures? Whilst at the exhibition none of the officials were able to answer questions we put to them – they never had the information (or if they did they were keeping it to themselves). Mr Reavell you were not at that exhibition, or if you were you were keeping a very low profile.

    After reading the article it was quite obvious that the figures from the exhibition, together with the No Eco Town March, which took place on the 20th September, has really rattled O & H, otherwise why did they request such an interview with you?

    Mr Reavell you are living on a cloud if you seriously believe that the majority of residents of Marston Vale are for your proposed Eco? Town. Come off that cloud and face reality! We already have the green spaces you are proposing, look around. You are trying to take them away from us. We did have an allotment – it was taken away from us to build the current A421. The internet is already here –albeit that we have one of the slowest broadband links in the country.

    Whilst writing we would comment that we are both, as is your recent correspondent Mr Gore, still awaiting a reply from Caroline Flint to our protest letters – perhaps Margaret Beckett will do the honorable thing and actually acknowledge us? Well, we can but hope.

    Janice & Mike Green
    Marston Moreteyne.

  4. Mr David Reavell, if he wished to make a true statement about O&H intentions would say “Having purchased land at agricultural prices, we hoped that a declining government which has never acknowledged local views anyway could be persuaded to allow us to pave it over and resell it at ridiculously overinflated prices. As to concern for the existing residents of the area, they can go to hell.” Unfortunately such a statement would not sound nearly as palatable as the nonsense he spouted in his interview, which could only have been intended to deceive anybody who has never been to the Marston Vale, or spoken to any of its residents.

  5. I would like to thank Craig Rolfe for the brilliant letter composed in response to Mr D Reavell’s (a Director of O & H Properties) letter in the Times and Citizen.

    Mr Reavell is a sad man who needs a reality check. He has no idea about the local community and quite obviously doesn’t care. It only makes the villagers of Marston Moreteyne more determined to oppose this development – WE DON’T WANT IT.

    How about Mr Reavell organise a meeting with the local community to hear and see how we feel instead of giving his fairytale stories to the media.

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