London Wildlife Trust today issued the following statement, which HOOT members will surely agree with:
Carlo Laurenzi OBE, Chief Executive of London Wildlife Trust said, ‘We at the Trust are shocked that the Colonial Drive development, adjacent to Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve in Chiswick, was granted permission last night at Ealing Council’s Planning Committee. It is the wrong development so close to this valued nature reserve and totally insensitive in its scale and height.
‘Last night’s Planning Committee meeting showed the current planning system is unable to give a meaningful voice to concerned locals and organisations objecting to inappropriate development. London Wildlife Trust agrees with Natural England (the government’s environmental advisory body) that an Ecological Impact Assessment is needed to fully assess the effect of the development on the Statutory Local Nature Reserve. Neither the developers nor Ealing Council provided any evidence of having seriously considered the ecological impacts of such a large scale development adjacent to Gunnersbury Triangle. Similarly, the impact on people’s enjoyment of the nature reserve’s tranquil atmosphere was not considered important.
‘This attitude is particularly surprising when you consider Gunnersbury Triangle was designated a statutory Local Nature Reserve by Ealing Council – for the part of the site within its jurisdiction – in 1991.’ The Triangle is also a Site of Metropolitan Importance for nature conservation.
‘The Trust would like to express its thanks to those Councillors who spoke up, calling for a more sensitive development of this site. We are now considering our options but will continue – alongside other concerned local groups – to fight this inappropriate development.’