Category: Events

Great Turnout at Mass Protest Rally!

On Sunday 24th September over 150 people from the tiny village of Culham gathered to peacefully protest the proposed development by South Oxfordshire District Council to build a new town of 3,500 homes on Green Belt land. Local residents and families from the larger community gathered on the village green and were all decked out in green clothing wearing green belts and draped in branches and leaves. Green tea was served with scones topped with cream and a ‘Green Belt preserve’ especially made for the occasion by Culham  resident Val Price. The beautiful weather helped ensure a warm and friendly atmosphere that was tinged with defiance over the plans which threaten to destroy nearly 300 hectares of Green Belt land and turn a small village into a town of some 9,000 residents. The children of the village were dressed in white and together they formed a human “NO” which was photographed from above by a drone. The fact that it was the children forming the word was the villagers’ way of pointing out that this development would affect future generations and that it is those children that they are trying to protect.

Around the human “no”, the rest of the protesters formed a large Green Belt, symbolized by green florist’s ribbon, and chanted a chorus of “2, 4, 6, 8 what do we appreciate? Culham Green Belt!” in between verses of a poem written for the day by local resident Peter Kirby. Caroline Baird, chair of Save Culham Green Belt, a campaign group formed by people from the village, was delighted with the turnout and said “ the fact that so many villagers responded at short notice to our call to arms shows the depth of sentiment against the Council’s plans; we are a small village, but united”.

Last week the government’s Communities Secretary Sajid Javid promised that Green Belt land would be protected and at the same time conceded that the housing figures on which current Local Plan is based vastly over-estimates the amount of new houses that need to be built in Oxfordshire. Despite this, SODC are determined to press ahead with their plans to build at Culham. The committee has been able to secure legal representation as well as the services of a planning consultant and the fight will continue.

Mass Protest Rally on Culham Green – 24th Sept – 3pm

All Culham households are being mailed with a leaflet inviting EVERYONE to join us for a Mass Protest Rally photographed from above by a drone-mounted camera.

This will be taking place on Sunday 24th September at 3pm on Culham Green.

We will form a ‘Human Green Belt’ around the perimeter of the Village Green*. We will provide a really long green ribbon to join us.  Please wear something green, or green face paint and/or hold a branch of greenery from your garden.  We are having banners made but please bring a home-made placard with any message you wish (such as ‘Preserve the Green Belt’ /  ‘Stop the Urban Sprawl!’ / ‘Keep Culham rural’ / ‘We love Green Belt’ / ‘No town wanted here’ – anything else that transmits this message.

Children in white please!  We also want to form a Human ‘No’ in the centre and ask for as many children as possible to wear something white to stand out.  It is appropriate for the younger generation to form the No as they will be the ones who suffer most from destruction of Green Belt.

Click here to see a PDF version of the flyer for the event.

PLEASE COME OUT IN FORCE AND SHOW A UNITED FRONT TO MAKE THIS A REALLY EFFECTIVE PROTEST AND SAVE CULHAM FROM BEING TURNED INTO A TOWN.

Come with children, parents, cousins, friends – as many as possible.

*to be clear the Culham Green is not part of the development area but it is the most accessible place to assemble as many people as possible without trekking up Thame Lane and risking trespass on the farmland proposed for the new town.

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