Connie Rees discusses building houses on the Valley [Text only]

'The other thing that I think was very important to people was the Valley...'

Stevenage Museum

The other thing that I think was very important to people was the Valley. Now the Valley was meant to be a lung of the town, an open space, a lung. And this again was quite an important thing for people. Because at the moment when we were here it was farmland, the children, we took the children up there and they used to see the farm and you know it was really nice. And then they said, well, it was leaked again that somebody said that the Borough Council were going to build some houses on the Valley, good houses for sale at high cost, because you could overlook the woods and it would be very nice. We didn’t want houses, we wanted the Valley left alone, because that was our lung.

Again a committee was formed, six of us and each time we asked the Development Corporation they said no there wasn’t any plans to build on the Valley.

And one day, um it was about quarter past eleven one night, there was a knock on my door and the man came actually with the plans. And someone had broken in that night got the plans. They had been photocopied at a school where this man was headmaster and I was given them and the other one was put back. And I still have them here to this day, with what was going on in the Valley.

So having got the plans then we called a public meeting, confronted them about this. And they said that well, it isn’t, it hasn’t been dated and which was true, but it was their plans there wasn’t any doubt about that. So I went round and I think we collected between about between ten and fifteen thousand signatures. The campaign just said ‘Save the Valley’ you know as simple as that. We then briefed Asterly Jones, a local solicitor, who briefed counsel and we won our case there was to be no building on the valley except for say a school or educational purposes. In fact I don’t even know now, because now they have knocked down the old girls’ grammar school and they are building houses. I don’t even know if that is going against the brief that came from counsel, but with the difficulty of young people not having homes I think the Valley is big enough to give that little bit to somebody to have a home you know.
And I think that when you run any campaigns you have got to be sensible and you have got to look at it in the light of today rather than yesterday when the order was made.

This page was added on 16/04/2018.

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