RSPB call for help in protecting Lodge Hill’s Nightingales

We have until 12 noon on 28th March 2014 to respond to a short consultation organised by Medway Council on a resubmitted planning application,  This application is to build 5,000 houses, and associated infrastructure on the former military base at Lodge Hill. Lodge Hill is a designated protected area as a “Site of Special Scientific Interest” (SSSI) due to its large population of breeding nightingales.

Medway Council did withdraw their strategy following the decision by Natural England to uphold the SSSI and protect Lodge Hill from development, but they continue to support plans to build on Lodge Hill, and now the developer have updated and resubmitted their planning application.  Though alternative sites have been identified by Medway Council, the developers are arguing that no alternative site can provide the ‘unique benefits’ of Lodge Hill and the loss of the nightingales’ home can be compensated elsewhere.Medway Green Party comment:

“The developers (and Medway Council who are in favour of this development) do not appear to have considered the practical difficulties of relocating the birds. The RSPB have stated that existing bird populations do not move on to other areas, but return to their existing habitats which would be blighted by this development. If this planning permission goes through it could set a damaging precedent for all other SSSIs in the country”.

“It is also unlikely that this development would address local housing needs. Instead it is likely to provide expensive and inaccessible out of town housing that is out of reach for the majority of people who already live in Medway. This would be particularly unhelpful to young people in the area struggling to find an affordable home”.

“Rather than building new towns for people outside Medway, in locations that destroy local natural habitats and their dependent wildlife, affordable housing should be built in areas that would give local people greater access to Green spaces.”

Please support our local wildlife, and local residents by responding to this consultation.  Further information provided by the RSPB can be found here.

Responses to this planning application can be sent by letter or email quoting Application Number MC/11/2516.  The address to write to is: Carly Stoddart, Development Control, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR or email: planning.representations@medway.gov.uk.

Thank you.

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3 Comments to “RSPB call for help in protecting Lodge Hill’s Nightingales”

  1. Just an update – the deadline for responses to the public consultation has been extended to 15th April 2014.

  2. Hi, I have sent this to all the contacts in my email list. I was just flicking through old RSPB mags from a couple of years ago, and went on line to see how it had panned out.

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