A local conservationist is calling on Gedling Borough Council to stop accepting future planning applications from a major house builder until it does more to protect wildlife at its latest development in Netherfield .
Mark Glover, who is a trustee of Gedling Conservation Trust, wants the council to take action against Persimmon Homes, who are currently working on the new Rivendell development on Teal Close, until they do more to protect ecology at the site.
The developer is expecting two planning decisions to be approved by the council this week on the next stage of the development, which will lead to a further 300 homes being built.
It is estimated over 800 homes will be built at the site over the next few years.
Mr Glover claims the house builder’s future activities will potentially threaten an important area of wildlife because they have failed to comply with an existing and legally binding Section 106 planning agreement.
A Section 106 is a legal agreement between an applicant seeking planning permission and the local planning authority, which is used to mitigate the impact of new homes on the local community and infrastructure.
It is claimed that as part of the agreement to develop Teal Close, Persimmon would create an ecology committee and also ecology management plan to protect wildlife at the site.
Mr Glover claims neither a plan or committee are currently in place.
Mark told Gedling Eye: “Since the original planning permission was granted for development of the Teal Close site back in 2013, an area designated for an ecology park and football pitches has evolved into an important area for wildlife including ‘red list’ and priority conservation species.
“The original habitat surveys that formed part of the planning application were carried out more than seven years ago and are now redundant.
“The failure of Persimmon Homes to comply with the S106 planning agreement by not forming an ecology committee and producing a management plan is clear and blatant. I simply do not understand why Gedling Borough Council has not enforced this legally binding agreement which was triggered when building the houses at the site began.
“Loss of biodiversity is a national crisis and local authorities such as Gedling Borough Council have a statutory duty to take action to protect and enhance it.
“The council still has an opportunity to help remedy this situation and I sincerely hope it will take action and prevent an act of environmental vandalism.
He added: “It is a great shame that a company as rich as Persimmon Homes does not contribute more towards protecting the natural environment and, equally, that planning authorities such as Gedling are incapable of ensuring they carry out this function.”
Gedling Borough Council today responded to Mr Glover’s comments.
A spokesman said: “We have been working actively with Persimmon Homes to set up a unique Ecology Committee to provide a forum for the local community to discuss the management of the Ecology Park at Teal Close. The responsibility for establishing the Ecology Committee rests with Persimmon Homes but the council has ensured consultation takes place with members of the group, which includes the Gedling Conservation Trust.
“The first face to face meeting of the Ecology Committee was held in July 2019 and the council has played an active role in helping draft the terms and conditions of the group, which are now being finalised, in continued consultation with its members, including Gedling Conservation Trust.
“The council expects the next meeting of the Ecology Committee to take place next month and continues to be firmly committed to working with all members of the group and the local community to further progress plans for the Ecology Park and Ecology Management Plan.”
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Nottingham said: “Discussions and work with various stakeholders has been, and is, ongoing with a draft plan for the management of the ecology of the site now complete.
“Persimmon Homes are to deliver a significant 10 hectare ecology park on the site and as such are working closely with Gedling Borough Council, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and a local interest group. This is a long-term project compliant with the existing Section 106 planning agreement.”