16 January 2014 I join Delyth Miles, Andy Foster, David Evans and others to hand in a petition, signed by 1200 people, to Tendring District Council at Clacton Town Hall. TDC plan to lease the Naze to Essex Wildlife Trust for 99 years.
EWT want to build a visitor centre at the Naze and have already been granted planning permission.
The Naze is a public open space used by many Tendring residents and visitors. The fear is EWT will impose restrictions on access if granted the lease.
Andy White, of TDC, came out to talk to people handing in petition. I asked Andy why TDC wanted to grant the lease to EWT.
The reason seems to be so EWT will build the visitor centre and take over the costs of picking up litter at Naze.
Why do we need a visitor centre?
Andy White’s answer was for students who visit Naze on school geography trips. This will give them somewhere to go and get coffee if it rains.
I put it to Andy that the visitor centre would be of no benefit to Tendring residents and would actually harm local cafes where students might currently buy food and drink.
Andy’s answer was it was good for everyone in the UK if people had a good education.
He didn’t have an answer on the harm to local businesses.
A bit weak as a reason I thought.
On a different matter I was really surprised to learn almost none of the people handing in petition were aware EA plan’s to let Naze fall into the sea
EA plan to knock down sea wall beside Walton Channel.
So perhaps TDC’s plan is really just a practical joke – there won’t be a Naze in 99 years!