Sunday, June 17, 2012


January 2013


Mr Brad Turner in his May letter to Householders ref  MS/Pub.12.148 emphasises that the “RMS has followed this review process to achieve the best outcome for Berry and surrounding communities by providing a balanced and robust report to Government.”

We entirely agree that the objective must be for the best outcome for Berry but are concerned that the use of the adjective robust  suggests, by definition, an unyielding approach.  If it is to be balanced then all factors must be fairly and independently assessed.

That, apart, now that the dust has nearly settled on all the deliberations, reports, emails, meetings and arguments regarding a by-pass for Berry, we think that, before the Minister makes his irrevocable decision, we should ask those on this addressee list to apply basic human criteria - moral, ethical, social, historical and philosophical to the problems so as to ensure that these are taken into account when deciding the best outcome for Berry

One of the problems which is apparent from the welter of reports and meetings is the lack of any serious consideration of Past, Present and Future.

1         From a philosophical point of view we owe a debt to the past and our forbears for the creation of the town of Berry.  Without the pioneering spirit of Alexander Berry, his family and successors from 1822, Berry would not be the attractive town that it is today.

2         We therefore owe a responsibility to the present residents, visitors, business and social community organisations to ensure that any development should enhance their well-being or, at the very least not diminish it.

3         We also owe it to the children of today and their children yet unborn,  that we leave a legacy for which they may be proud.  Then they will be able to say that the public servants and Government heads and their decisions of today compare well with the 19th century planners.

Therefore,  Government, Public Service and local community members need to be the GUARDIANS OF  THE FUTURE – not short-term materialists.

Related to these vital considerations are the following criteria against which decisions should be taken.

1.      Historical – one should question whether or not the RMS has seriously discussed and considered the importance of maintaining the historic background to Berry when drawing up plans for the original preferred route.

2.      Heritage is an elusive word to define but we take it to mean something like a feeling for the inherent ambience and atmosphere of the town.  It is part of its heritage that brings visitors time and time again to relax and meander.  Heritage is what creates the number of artistic and social groups who work together in a helpful and creative manner.

3.      Social Amenity and Cohesion.  In order that this may be maintained it is essential that the core entity of Berry be undisturbed as far as possible which means that the original ‘preferred route’ would be disruptive in character and divide the town.    The northern ‘preferred route’ is much too close to Berry and would be like a dagger through its heart should it be decided to be the best outcome for Berry.

Malcolm Sealy
The North Street Corridor Amenity Group