From the East Budleigh Parish Conservation and Wildlife Protection Group.
What they do not mention is that the barn is owned by Clinton Devon Estates – the company that puffs itself up as “gold standard” when it comes to conservation …..
“Planning application, 18/1464/ful. The Pound, East Budleigh.
Since April 2018, the East Budleigh Parish conservation and wildlife protection group, have sought to do its utmost to protect the rare, and the not so rare species of Bat, as well as the other wildlife that inhabit the barn and adjacent green space known as ‘the Pound’ in East Budleigh.
All through this application we have researched extensively, bat law, wildlife protection, mitigation studies, European and domestic legislation and directives from the Bat conservation trust, the Back from the brink project, and Natural England to name but three.
Each body has standing advice on how to protect and conserve EPS (European Protected Species). We have shared that information with all the concerned councillors from parish to district level.
The advice from Natural England and Conservation bodies state that for rare species, the avoidance method should be taken, yet here we are fighting for those methods and laws designed to protect to be implemented.
Through our many conversations with various conservation trusts, the overwhelming response has been, “the laws are there to protect these species, if the LPA follow the directives and adhere to legislation, permission will be denied.”
Having studied the plans for mitigation, We have found shortcomings in all of the mitigation offered by the agent on this application, and areas of complete misunderstanding, or disregard for the laws that are supposed to protect all wildlife. So much so, that this contentious application has reached the next stage of the planning….. the development management committee.
Getting the application to this point is a small victory for the wildlife, as we feel sure, that had we sat by and done nothing, by now, the site would have been levelled, the new house been built and the wildlife displaced, gone, or even worse, dead.(as suggested possible in Richard Greens ecology report) So we have done incredibly well to get this far.
Now…according to EDDC planning agenda, the application is recommended for approval with conditions. It is due to be discussed at the next DMC, on
Tuesday February 12th at
11AM, in the
Council chamber at Exmouth town hall.
But, of course, as is usual in a ‘democracy’, free speech and independent opinion is subject to what the ‘powers that be’, decide on as to what can be discussed and what should be taken in to consideration, so that an informed decision and vote can be made!
During this long process, it has been, and still is, the groups aim to get the best possible outcome for our precious, rare wildlife and our local green space.
We are putting forward the argument that:
1) the Pound is a significant site, regardless of numbers, with no less than four rare species of Bat,( with up to fourteen species recorded by ourselves), evidence of Hazel Dormice and an active Badger sett.
2) the mitigation measures are not adequate, with little to no evidence that these measures are successful for the rarer, disturbance intolerant, more light adverse species such as the Grey long-eared, Greater and lesser horseshoe Bats. An opinion upheld by DWT’s conservation manager in his ‘neutral’ letter to EDDC.
3) the lighting plan is not in line with current research provided by the bat conservation trust, nor the ILP,(institute of lighting professionals) suggesting the maximum light spill should not exceed 0.45 lux lumen on a moonless night. whereas the current proposed lighting plan stands at 0.95. so still more than double.
4) These species ARE protected by law, but human interest is, once again, being favoured above the interest and protection of rare species and local wildlife.
We are, teetering on approval being granted, everything hinging on a committee of councillors who may not be able to see the bigger picture. Which is, if we all stand by and do nothing to protect our local patch and its inhabitants, we will lose more and more green space, more and more species and biodiversity.
Now we may not be able to make a difference globally, but if we all made a stand for our own little corner, couldn’t we, wouldn’t we, make East Devon a better place to be, not only for our wildlife, but ourselves too?
PLEASE STAND WITH US ON THE 12th.
We are meeting at around
10.15am outside the town hall in Exmouth,
to hold a peaceful protest prior to the DMC. So if you have time, We would greatly appreciate your support to stand beside us and be a voice for East Budleighs wonderful wildlife.