Sanctuary LNR – tomorrow the council decides

The Sanctuary LNR Before and After 2003 - 2014(1)Sanctuary Protest 2 Liz Lonsdale

Tomorrow evening Derby City Council’s Planning Committee  will consider the planning application to destroy the Sanctuary Local Nature Reserve.

The cyclists ran out of puff and amassed 642 responses in favour of the ‘vile act of wanton vandalism’ (in the words of Chris Packham) compared with 995 responses against the plan.  Thank you to readers of this blog (and everyone else) who responded. How clever of us not to burst through that ostentatious 1000 barrier.

Here are previous blogs on the subject (here, here and here).

Here is a great video taken by a drone flying over the threatened site so that all can see what it looks like.  That does look really special – doesn’t it?  What an urban gem!

You will notice that the compositition of this Council is 28 Labour, 14 Conservative and 9 LibDem.  The European elections are in May.

Well done to those (inclusding a Barn Owl) who braved a cold evening to protest at a full Council meeting last week.

Let’s hope that the Sanctuary LNR is saved.  Will the Planning Committee listen to the overwhelming views of respondents to the consultation? And if not – why not?



5 Replies to “Sanctuary LNR – tomorrow the council decides”

  1. Despite the fact that protestors substantially outnumbered those commenting in favour of the application, I believe that the council’s planning officers have recommended that planning permission is granted. Let us hope that the planning committee decides to ignore their advice and holds fast to the Council’s previous decision to designate this as a nature conservation site. if not, the cyclists will be given a push past the line in spite of their lack of puff.

  2. You are correct Jonathan….but what a one sided officer report it is with several factual errors and a complete mis-understanding of what the birds require if they are to continue to visit and nest on the site (eg. the new track lighting – 52 posts each 6 metres tall – will have the lights ‘carefully directed only onto the track’ and won’t affect ground nesters nearby!
    The very late ‘offer’ of compensation land may well sway the committee to approve despite Derbyshire WL Trust refusing it as totally unacceptable. The site, a few miles down river, is already a wildlife site so there would be no nett gain for biodiversity if it was re-designed to accommodate the species ousted from the Sanctuary (skylark, lapwing etc). There is no offer of fencing (the new land is walked and horse ridden over), it has power lines overhead (not ideal for skylarks!) and has been used as compensation already for another, separate site!
    It’s not looking good – but the coalition of 15 groups is still exploring what else it might do…..
    Ps. If anyone hasn’t objected yet it takes only a few minutes. See the guest blog on 7th January linked to above. You only have until 5pm today 5th Feb. to do so though!

    1. Sadly, even if Councillors were minded to refuse permission the developers will appeal and can the Local Authority afford a Public Inquiry?

      The Planning System is such that it favours developers, the public have no such opportunity to appeal beyond a Judicial Review and only then if the process was flawed.

      Rumours once that Eric that Pickles suggested localism was about letting local people make decisions ….

      The drone overfly really illustrated the green oasis amidst the depressing concrete and tarmac. Hopefully an ecologist talked the Planning meeting through the site’s value with this as part of the presentation. Where was the buildings green roof, another missed opportunity for developers green spin as well as potential biodiversity gain? Couldn’t spot the SUDS either to accommodate all the water run off the development site car parks.

  3. Derby’s urban gem indeed and lets hope the people of Derby hang on to it! Thank you for highlighting this issue in such an engaging and pragmatic blog!

  4. Mud-lark – the developer IS the council itself! It is applying to itself (judge and jury style) to destroy part of a Local Nature Reserve that it (the council) established some ten years ago……and won two awards for subsequently!
    You make good points about no green roof on the velodrome or SUDS on the acres of car parks! All very depressing……

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