Great day at work – as we got the news that a proposed housing development in South Ascot has been rejected following a public inquiry. This is an excellent outcome for the team that mustered our input to the public inquiry in concert with local people, Natural England and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.
The housing development was proposed adjacent to part of the Thames Basin Heaths – a Special Protection Area for vulnerable ground-nesting birds sensitive to the inevitable racking up of disturbance that would come with the houses.
We, and many others, have worked with 11 local authorities to agree a strategic plan to enable house to be built with green places established for residents that means the SPA is protected – this proposal failed to meet the requirements of the plan and has been, rightly, rejected.
You can read some background to the case here, and more about our reaction here.
If this decision had gone the other way, it would have opened the floodgates to more pressure and damage to this sensitive and much-loved area. It is hugely welcome that the inspector and, ultimately, the Government have backed the plan.
This decision comes in the midst of the most intense debate about the future of planning many of us have ever seen – there is still time to comment on the National Planning Policy Framework (for England) – and here’s how you can help.
While I’m on the subject of housing and heathland – the public inquiry into Talbot Heath in Poole is about to get underway again on Wednesday 5 October – let’s hope we’re on a roll.
Dartford warbler - breathing easier following planning decision
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Oops - have just added the 'how you can help' link and corrected a typo.