Important Information relating to the future of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve
Many of you may be aware that in March this year a planning application to build up to 250 houses on the land adjacent to the nature reserve was unanimously refused by MK Development Control Committee following the planning officer’s recommendation:
The applicant Templeview Developments subsequently appealed this decision on the grounds MK Council was not able to ‘Demonstrate Clearly’ that it had a 5 year Housing Land Supply as required by the NPPF. This appeal is still in progress and we have written to all our members encouraging them to write to the Planning Inspectorate supporting MKCs decision to refuse planning permission.
The New Position
We must now advise that as well as the appeal, Templeview via their agents DLP Consulting have submitted another identical planning application (No 17/01937/OUT) which can be viewed online at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/publicaccess or at the Civic Offices 1 Saxon Gate, Central Milton Keynes.
Despite the absolute assurance given at the DCC meeting on 30th March 2017 that they could defend any appeal based on the lack of a 5 year Housing Land Supply, it would appear that the applicant now feels that MK Planning Officers may not be so confidant they can do so and may not be prepared to defend the unanimously reached decision, which met with huge public approval, back in March.
We are concerned therefore, that the planning officers may be pressurised into recommending approval of this new planning application, rather than defending their original decision at a public hearing of the appeal.
Planning Officers, can of course, only recommend approval or refusal of an application based on the facts presented and the appropriate local and national policy and it will be the DCC that makes the final decision. Whilst we wonder why the applicant would have submitted another planning application, unless, for some reason, they felt confident of success, we believe we may yet be able to influence the Councils decision.
The independent Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that the Applicant was obliged to have carried out concludes that:
"There would be an irreversible loss of habitat and fragmentation of habitat within Linford Lakes Biological Notification Site and Wildlife Corridor during construction". A significant negative effect at COUNTY level was classified as certain.
The survey also suggests that the Zone of Impact that construction work could have, could be up to 2Km which of course covers the Nature Reserve itself.
The EIA assessment also drew attention to the probable disturbance of waterbirds during construction and operation, the likely predation by cats during operation and loss of habitat for many creatures including birds, bats, otters and reptiles.
The EIA was only conducted in the proposed development area and did not encompass the flora and fauna to be found on LLNR or Stanton Low Park, it is highly unlikely that the planning department or for that matter any other part of the Council or MK Councillors have any idea just how important LLNR is, with its unique habitat and huge diversity of wildlife.
The planning application makes no mention of how access to the site could be maintained during building which would take place on both sides of the access road to the reserve.
Please, Please, Please - if you value Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, if you value the British countryside, if you want to protect important and beautiful habitat, if you wish to see local policies upheld and developers being prevented from building wherever and whenever they wish, then please get involved and encourage others to also get involved.
We must insist that our Council stands up for its own policies for its own community and for the protection of valuable wildlife habitat that we have the right to preserve and enjoy.
It’s easy, you can either lodge your objections to the new planning applications for the same reasons that the Council gave back in March along with your concerns regarding the effects on LLNR and surrounding countryside by e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Council website www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/publicaccess
You will need to include your name and address but this information will be kept secure and will not be available for others to see.
The absolute deadline for lodging comments and objections is August 15th.
If you want to have a better understanding of the wildlife to be found at LLNR just have a look at the species list on this blog site.
Thank you for taking time to read this and for your support.