I am rarely moved to write to the local papers but I feel I have to respond to A Hill’s letter of last week, which was a vitriolic and personal diatribe against Dale Vince and his Eco Park project. I neither know nor work for Mr Vince, and so this is not a personal defence of a friend but just a desire for balance and good sense in the debate about Eco-Park and the merits of Mr Vince, Ecotricity and Forest Green Rovers.

Firstly, Mr Vince has established his very successful Ecotricity company in the heart of Stroud, which employs a great many local people in that company, and by that alone he has invested massively in our local community. Secondly, his politics are nobody else’s business but his own and, if he did vote for Mr Drew, what’s the problem? With all respect to our new MP, we all know that David Drew had a lot of personal local support as an excellent constituency representative, in addition to that he received as candidate for the Labour Party.

I presume the letter writer is not a football fan! The complete lack of awareness relating to the status and continuing success of our small town club Forest Green Rovers is staggering! Despite the unavoidable hiatus in the present football season, (something I am sure A Hill is not grieving over), Forest Green are bordering on promotion to League One and would then be only two promotions shy of being in the Premier League. (Ok, pipe dreams!) Mr Vince has had many high profile visitors to the club from the world of football and beyond, to discuss his vision for sustainability in sport and the introduction of vegan food to his match day offering. He is now invited to speak around the world on the increasing need for ecological sustainability in sport, as a leader in this movement. To have described Forest Green Rovers fans as “hapless” is just plain rude!

As for the Eco Park project, I have to respect the fact that it is not popular in the village of Eastington and its environs, which is only natural, but sometimes progress has to come with a cost. Eco Park will feature a futuristic wooden stadium designed by a world renowned architect, which has been styled with a low profile to blend in to the natural landscape. The Park will also feature a great deal of parking space, a lot of tree planting and, I believe, office spaces aimed at IT and high tech companies. All this will be just off junction 13 of the M5, which will suit the arrival of team and fan coaches from visiting teams much better than their present crawl through Nailsworth and on up Tinkley Hill to the present stadium. On the one hand it will free up space in Nailsworth, (perhaps Shortwood FC could move in to The Lawn?), on the other hand the Eco Park, situated just off the M5, will make junction 13 a gateway, not only to the Park itself and to Stroud, but also to the towns and villages of the Severn Vale. It might well deliver additional revenues to villages such as Eastington, Frampton and Slimbridge among others. What’s not to like about that!

Tim Howard