Third Battle of Newbury

P.O. BOX 5520, Newbury, Berks. RG14 7YW.

Tel: 01635 45544 Fax: 01635 45545 24 hr info: 01635 550552

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Immediate Release Thursday 6th November 1996


Secretary of State for the Environment accepts

report against English Nature over Newbury Bypass

John Gummer, Secretary of State for the Environment was presented with a copy of The Third Battle of Newbury's controversial report 'English Nature and the Newbury Bypass' on November 5th, at the Media Natura Awards Evening. Unwittingly he also became the subject of a private-eye like photo-opportunity. Words were literally - via a cardboard speech bubble -put into his mouth.

The report has been considered too controversial for groups like the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and the Wildlife Trusts to endorse. It documents how English Nature, this country's statuary body for our natural heritage, failed at Newbury. How it failed to present a full and balanced case at the 1988 Public Inquiry and has subsequently repeatedly failed to for fill its duty.

The report has been refereed to the parliamentary ombudsman by Newbury's Liberal Democrat M.P David Rendel despite his campaign for the bypass. The Third Battle of Newbury's particular grievance is that false and/or misleading information given by English Nature has prejudiced legal proceedings, both in Britain and Europe, which could have stopped the Newbury Bypass. If the Ombudsman finds in favour of The Third Battle of Newbury then beside moral vindication, financial compensation may be expected.

A spokesman for the Third Battle of Newbury said

"The Newbury Bypass is an act of criminal damage. After the crime comes the investigation. Our report is a contribution to stopping future failures by English Nature. ENDS