Friends of the Earth Midlothian is a network of various Midlothian groups and activists - including many from West Midlothian Environmental Action. The main campaign is currently A701 alignment in addition to work on climate change.
Join them on Sat 29th Aug at 12noon in a field opposite the Old Pentland cemetery for 'Save Damhead' demonstration and a walk for part of the route of the proposed A701 road, giving people an opportunity to see what will be lost by the new development. Make your own sign or bring your group's banner, few friends, dogs or just yourself.
This will be followed by talk about a positive vision for the future of Damhead including the 'Edinburgh Food Belt' idea on Sun 30th Aug at The Kabin in Loanhead, 2pm.
Residents have been calling on the Council not to include the new proposed A701 road extension in the latest Local Development Plan. More than hundred people and various community groups have strongly objected to this development and insist it is not a genuine traffic solution but merely an excuse to develop the last of the green belt in Damhead area.
If the proposed new A701 ‘relief road’ goes ahead it will not only cut the local community in half and destroy the peaceful rural character of Damhead but will also eradicate great chunks of Green Belt and prime agricultural land and adversely impact on local biodiversity. The proposals will have a significant impact on light and noise pollution and the level of carbon monoxide and other exhaust emissions within the area (which contradicts Scottish Government commitments to deliver a significant reduction in emissions). As is now well documented, new roads only create more traffic and carbon emissions and don't really alleviate any existing traffic issues. Improved public transport and cycling provision would be much better solution.
With intense pressures on local green belt areas, development pressures driven by outside forces, not to mention climate change and food security, the Edinburgh Food Belt is an idea that is rapidly growing and one that could help address some local concerns and aspirations for better local futures. It has to be driven by community interest and positive action. The aim is to get this embedded in future Local Development Plans and community Neighbourhood Action Plans. Julian Holbrook, an organic smallholder, Damhead & District Community Councillor, with background in climate change, land use, local food and state of the environment, will outline a vision for an Edinburgh Food Belt that he is proposing. It's an idea that is taking shape right now and needs input from many others, like you. Julian will talk briefly about what Damhead community is doing, with a view towards inspiring other communities, groups, individuals, businesses to engage with the vision. Then we will discuss your views and how you might get involved in or support this exciting proposal.
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