Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Community Wildlife Nursery

Letter for publication

With refererence to the article “Houses could go on green belt land” in the Ilford Recorder May 5th 2011 and on this blog under the heading “Down the Hatch”.

The Report from the Fairlop Plain Scrutiny Working Group omitted the fact that most of Fairlop plain is also designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and any development on or directly surrounding the declared site has to take Nature Conservation into account.

The proposed housing development site is in part an abandoned tree nursery that has in itself some nature conservation value. However it bounds on three sides by the SINC and the effects of the housing development are likely to be extremely detrimental to the wildlife of the SINC. We will oppose any development that damages wildlife.

Does it have to be like this? It is possible to have sustainable development that compliments the SINC, increases the wildlife value of the old tree nursery and gives community well being. I am suggesting that a Community Wildlife Nursery is developed on the site similar to the London Wildlife Trusts Centre for Wildlife Gardening in south London. (This was developed in a redundant council yard scheduled for infill housing) The Redbridge Council has allowed development of a similar nature in the past; the Chadwell Millennium Green was born out of Percival Gardens residents not wanting infill housing on a redundant allotment site.

You may ask how this can be funded? If a charitable trust is set up funding can be applied for from various trusts and organisations including Lottery funding and landfill tax.

Therefore I would urge members of the Council to consider sustainable development for the site and members of the community to unite behind a focused development that benefits both the community, wildlife and the environment.

Chris Gannaway
on behalf of the Redbridge Group of London Wildlife Trust

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