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March 2015
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Kingsgate Farm
By Andrew Jordan

newlsettersIn our AONB we have the delights of the old Kingsgate Farm at Lee Gate, with its derelict farm buildings, rusty oil tank and overgrown vegetation – and nicely-trimmed footpaths. The question is what to do with it – the current owner of the land is a ‘Londoner’ who is hoping it will become a sound investment for future development.

Let’s hope it’s not?

Ecological opportunity?
What would you like to do with the land if you owned it? I know what I would like to do … remove all the old buildings, rusty oil tank, concrete and debris – thus ensuring no future generations would be able to build on it except for ‘my idea’. I would then fence off the lower part of the land and create wheelchair-friendly footpaths that criss-cross the land, hide the electricity cables underground and develop a lake in the upper section (between the Chiltern Way and the back of Rabbs’ Corner house). I would then divert all the rainwater that runs down Chesham Lane every time it rains and hold this in an underground storage tank, beneath the lake. This water would then be filtered and treated and available for all the residents of the area to use as they see fit and would go a long way to preventing the flooding on the road at the foot of Red Lion Hill.

newlsettersI would then like to build a windmill, just like the one in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (but perhaps without the leaking roof) and fit it with fully-working sails that would generate electricity for use by the local residents and to power the water treatment plant below the lake. On the southern side of the windmill would be solar panels (hidden by the trees so that no-one could be offended by them) to boost the electricity production on non-windy days.

I would plant an orchard in the lower section, replace the top soil that has been removed, introduce a colony of honey bees and lay the ground to turf thus enhancing the AONB in which we live.

There is a young oak tree obscured by all the overgrowth and it would be good to give this traditional tree the room to grow and develop into a fine ‘old English oak’ for future generations to admire and enjoy.

newlsettersI would then invite the local community to plant a ‘time capsule’ at the foot of the oak to educate future generations about the community which lives here now. I would then extend the area where the Alpacas currently live so that they have more room to roam, as they are such lovely creatures to watch (even after they have been shorn) and quite a unique asset to our community.

Then I would sit back and enjoy the view – and be busy keeping the whole area looking ‘prim and proper’. The biggest problem with my ‘plan’ for Kingsgate Farm is … I do not own it!

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