Tuesday 9 November 2010


I heard on the local radio that a large development is being proposed in Brough, a few miles from my home. There was a display in the Brough library about the proposed new homes and commercial area, so I thought I'd go and take a look.

Brough has been very substantially extended over the past ten years. When I was at school there was a very large area of greenhouses given over largely to growing tomatoes and cucumbers and in the summer there were always employment opportunities picking the fruit for anyone who didn't mind being roasted alive in the greenhouses and scratched to bits on the cucumber plants. All of the glasshouses, warehousing and packing sheds have long ago been demolished and a huge new housing estate and a school built there. There have been other new facilities built too, such as a supermarket, health centre and, bucking the national trend, a pub. One of the new facilities is a library and community centre where the plans were on show.

The plans were laid out on display boards, with black and white maps showing Brough and the new roads and building areas sketched over as coloured blocks. I can't reproduce them here for fear of breaking the developer's copyright. The maps were very old OS ones. They showed the market gardens as though they still existed, with the existing, new estate blocked in colour which made it look part of the development. All of the existing, new facilities and some existing roads were drawn in as though they were to be added by the developer. The development that really is to be added is largely on open fields but it is partly on the airfield currently owned and operated by BAe. This is fiercely guarded and is not available for private aircraft to use, so only a few aircraft use it each week. One interesting part of the proposal is to build a new supermarket. Tesco already have expressed an interest in building a supermarket near the A63, not far from this proposed development and the developers are latching on to the hostility to Tesco's plans by saying that their supermarket would be instead of Tesco's planned one.

I have no particular objections to the development, but it is interesting to see how maps are being used to portray a developer's specific agenda and attempt to put them in a good light. As to replacing Tesco's proposal, well Tesco have the cash and planning experience to usually get what they want.