The paper quotes Sue Eppel (Hello Sue!) from the Aylestone Meadows Appreciation Society as saying:
The work they have planned, especially the floodlights, is going to have a devastating effect on the wildlife."Certainly it is an odd way for Leicester, which proclaims itself an "environment city" to behave. There must be many less environmentally sensitive sites where this complex could be built.
The defence mounted by the Labour councillor Robert Wann is worth a little attention. He says:
"I think they are very selfish in their approach. The football facilities are part of an £11m city-wide improvement to sporting facilities which will benefit hundreds of local people."How campaigning to protect Leicester's environment can be "very selfish" escapes me. And if you do the arithmetic, an £11m project that helps "hundreds of people" represents extremely poor value for money.
Perhaps somewhere behind this is the attitude that Tessa Jowell revealed in her speech to the Labour government's sports summit in July 2003:
“Here’s the truth – children don’t want to play sport on badly drained 1950s scraps of land. They want showers, fences and floodlights.”For people like Jowell and Wann, a meadow will always be a poor substitute for Astroturf.