A year on, some things have changed but one thing hasn't - the developers, Land Securities still want to build 5000 homes on the site. This will equate to a potentially catastrophic loss of wildlife on a local (and national) scale. Medway Council recognised it wasn't right and withdrew their plans, Land Securities on the other hand, simply went away and came back in March this year with revised plans which look remarkably like their first.
Tomorrow is the deadline for the current public consultation, so if you have time, please respond and object to this wholly damaging and inappropriate development.
Why is it important? See this post from 2013
Submitting your opinion is easy - it takes 2 mins (because I've written the answer below!)
- Click here to comment through the Medway planning page:
- Click the button saying you do not have a reference number
- fill in the deets and pick your fave bits from the following, or write your own:
I strongly object to the revised Lodge Hill planning application on the following grounds:
1. Lodge Hill has been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England, the government’s expert advisors on the natural environment. This is in recognition of the site’s critical importance for nightingales, a migrant bird greatly declining in the UK. The 2012 BTO survey showed the area to hold 84 pairs of Nightingale – with 69 inside the boundary directly affected by development. This total amounts to 1.3(+)% of the national nightingale population. As such it is likely the single most important breeding site for this bird in Britain.
2. The site has considerable biodiversity value: Bat roosts have been recorded present in 19 structures, with several species of bat foraging on site. The site is likely to be of at least county importance for bats. Populations of great crested newts, toads, lizards, slow worms, grass snakes and adders are present. The site is at least of county importance for reptiles.
3. The cumulative impact of the proposed development has still not been recognised in any form. The revised application hugely underplays the additional infrastructure features needed (roads, drainage, sewerage, power) which will, without question, contribute to further damage of habitats in the area. Likewise, it is entirely inevitable that an influx of people to the area on this scale will have a permanent negative impact on the ecology and rural character of the area as a whole.
I find it absurd and downright disturbing that a site proven to be of significant ecological value on a national scale is being treated in this way. When the plans were proposed initially, little was known about the value of this site. What has now been proven is that this is a unique site for nature in the UK. These plans set a tragic example for children today and the generations to come, on our relationship with the environment. Lodge Hill is a key part of the landscape of North Kent and should be preserved without hesitation for the future prosperity and enjoyment of local people, visitors and wildlife.
For these points and more I remain thoroughly opposed to these plans.