A while back, whilst on the bus ride home, I noticed one of those yellow and black roadsigns that are generally used to guide contractors vehicles to a specific development site. This sign however filled me with doom and despair, it said "Waverley New Homes". Waverley, for the uninitiated, is the Tory developers friendly name for Orgreave. After all a sign saying "Orgreave new homes" would instantly remind anyone (old enough) of the infamous battle during the miners strike - but enough of that. Development commenced way back in April, just as the ground nesting birds were getting down to it. Did the developers take this in to consideration? Did they bollocks. Herras fencing was hurriedly erected and an army of earth moving vehicles moved in. Harworth Estates (HE) later claimed that their ecologist had walked the site and found nothing - this was a complete lie and a poor attempt by HE to cover up their cock up. I do believe that it was a cock up and not a deliberate act but ignorance is no excuse! HE's only saving grace was that in the subsequent weeks the wet weather screwed up just about all the local ground nesting birds seemingly saving their blushes. I do hope that any subsequent developments (and there will be lots more in the coming years) take into account the ground nesting species.
The first three houses are under the right hand wind turbine
The development has moved on at a very quick pace and already the first (show) houses are up. Approximately one quarter of the northern plains area has now gone. This first phase will create 250 houses with a further 2750 planned over the next 25 years! I'm not going to moan about it, people need places to live and this part of the site was always earmarked for a development of this nature. Orgreave will see many changes over the coming years - some good some not so good. Work on the lakes as a flood defence has been carried out recently and we now have a overflow for the River Rother and an open culvert and spillway that will carry all surface water away from the new development. Both of these new habitats will hopefully improve the biodiversity of the site.