There are new threats and changes affecting the area known as Frimley Hatches. An article in the Guardian last week informed us that CEMEX is seeking to sell off all their fishing pits. Some of the Frimley pits have a very high reputation for quality carp fishing.
There are several potential issues:
- Local residents have long been concerned about the vehicles parking close to the railway crossing at Frimley Green and making it difficult for residents to park or maneuver their own vehicles. This situation is likely to become considerably worse because the fishing pit 4 with the island (for which some residents have non angling permits) is being separated from the other lakes and cheaper permits for it have been made available (less than half the price of the other more popular pits). This has lead to sale of many more permits which will mean it becomes much busier. The changes came into effect on 1st April.
- I believe there was a threat some years ago to develop housing or shopping on this site, the ensuing disputes over planning issues lead to the idea being dropped. However, CEMEX’s predecessor’s planning commitment to manage part of the area as a nature reserve has been left undelivered and may now have strictly become legally unenforceable. The new Government policy on planning makes many feel distinctly uneasy about potential development threats and this area just off the Blackwater Valley Road may make it more vulnerable. It is in a flood risk area and this may save it but other attempts have been made to build on floodplains and nearly succeeded.
- The Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust has invested grant money and trust funds in managing pit 4 in particular, creating wildflower grassland and annually clearing the overgrown island to encourage breeding birds. It would be quite unreasonable and against the spirit of the grant purposes for CEMEX now to ignore that investment.
The outcome of the proposed sale will not be known for some time but it would be helpful to know whether there are people locally who would want to be involved in resisting damaging proposals to the area which is a local gem with the Blackwater Valley Path passing right through the area and popular for both cycling and walking. Please let me know if you are interested in these issues.