The Water Tower

The Water Tower
The Water Tower at Dusk

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Diary of Planning Events 2014 to 2015 part 2

Part 1 of this subject matter related to a planning application by the tennis club for the mesh screening used around the tennis courts, in 2014.

Part 2.......

Relationships with the tennis club and myself have always been slightly "edgy" given that some of their members were not at all pleased that the ground around the club was sold to Gerry and I by Midlothian Council. Prior to the sale, the club had, I guess, a free reign for access and use of the land at the back of the clubhouse. And here it is.....

This is the exit at the metal fence that the club used for many many years to get rid of leaves. No problem there. The cut away shows the pile of waste blaise (blaze?) which is the  crushed red bricks/stone that is used to make the playing surface on the courts. 

It had fairly piled up on the ground that we had purchased, and over a period of probably more than 5 years now, I have been making in-roads into getting rid of the pile to recover the land to a condition fit for planting. Not an easy task. At one time we brought in a small digger and used that to move as much of the blaise as possible. I created 2 blaise bays with the material and it's being mixed with soil whenever possible to create a planting medium where I shuck-in plants pending planting proper in a designated area the woodland. 

I made a path through the waste blaise in 2013 and continued to allow the club to use that route to dump their leaves (and more blaise). My only caveat was that this dumping now be taken to the edge of the woodland where the leaves could be tipped over the edge and fall to the river below. 

To say I was angry the following year, when I encountered the pile at the base of a Horse Chestnut tree at the top of the slope, is an understatement. No attempt had been made to tip them over the edge and the pile not only brought risk to a mature tree, it was piled such that the cesspit outlet pipe could not be seen by anyone visiting to assess that pipe. (That's another story for another day).

So I painfully moved as many leaves and blaise as I could over the edge. It was summer time and I was recovering from a very painful shoulder injury. I didn't want to damage my shoulder so I had a bonfire to get rid of more of the leaves. It burned well for over 4 hours before someone from the club came through the exit and asked me to put the fire out because the smoke was on their courts. I couldn't see smoke anywhere near their courts and went into the club area to take a look. I was told it had belched smoke when the wind changed direction but there was certainly none on the courts when I looked. The fire having been burning for over 4 hours already was by now almost out and it was left to burn on - putting it out would have made no difference whatsoever. 

But this is when relations lurched from "slightly edgy" to something more serious. Alistair (not a club member but the husband of a club member) claimed I was burning deliberately and that I had another agenda. He claimed I knew it was their "tennis day" and that the smoke had reached his house at the other end of the cemetery. I left having said my piece and asked Gerry to go and mediate and to take the camera. I put the Alistair story on Facebook at the time. 

One fun part was when Alistair said that Gerry's camera had been affected by the bonfire because - "look, its covered in ash". Actually Gerry had spilled Alpen on it that day!

And so relations were now beyond edgy. I decided to take matters into my own hands for the long term betterment of the woodland behind the tennis club. 

Part 3 to follow.

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