Sanctuary – legal challenge


The diggers are in and have started stripping away topsoil at the Sanctuary Local Nature Reserve, whose destruction Derby City Council have approved.  But the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has launched a legal challenge against this destruction. The Trust has told the Council that their planning decision is illegal and will be challenged under Judicial Review.

The Sanctuary LNR Before and After 2003 - 2014(1)Meanwhile the petition against spending Lottery money on destroying a nature reserve has passed 1000 signatures.  Sport England says that no Lottery funding goes into the scheme yet this appears to be at variance with what they told local wildlife campaigners in response to an EIR request in September 2013 when they wrote ‘ 1. Sport England is investing £3 million Lottery funds into the Velodrome (Arena) to meet local and regional needs for cycling and other sports. The outdoor circuit on the same site was part of the application we approved. 2. The application Sport England approved included the construction of an outdoor track adjacent to the Velodrome (Arena) 3. The application we approved included the construction of the outdoor track on the site. Ultimately siting of the track is a matter for the Local Authority, as is the planning application for this facility.‘. That seems to show that Lottery money is being spent on this one project which does involve destroying a nature reserve. Sign the petition here to keep up the pressure.

Simon Barnes writes a good piece on this in today’s Times and compares the destruction of nature by the green sport of cycling as like a ‘cyclist running a red light’.

The Sanctuary LNR Before and After 2003 - 2014(1)A range of organisations oppose this wildlife destruction, including: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Derbyshire Ornithological Society, Derbyshire Natural History Society, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Entomological Society, Derbyshire Amphibian and Reptile Group, Derbyshire Bat Group and Derbyshire Mammal Group.


Derby City Council set up this nature reserve and then a few years later have voted for its destruction.
The National Lottery exists to promote good causes including the environment and is now funding the destruction of a nature reserve.
Sport England receiving public money from the Lottery and our taxes is causing environmental damage through its own development plans.
Cycling, a green(-ish) sport and very environmentally friendly mode of transport is in conflict with wildlife in a completely unnecessary way.
This is England in 2014 – green and pleasant no more.
That petition asking that Lottery money is not used to destroy a nature reserve? Sign here please to stop the diggers.



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6 Replies to “Sanctuary – legal challenge”

  1. "Cycling, a green(-ish) sport"

    When it involves transporting the bike by car to the chosen location (as will undoubtedly be the case with a 'national' cycle track) and when it involves floodlit tracks, then cycling is no greener than any other sport. I don't think anyone should suggest that because this is a cycling track that the development is somehow environmentally benign and that this in some way justifies the destruction of the nature reserve. I am aware that that is not what you are suggesting, Mark, but others have already made such a suggestion.

  2. This makes me so angry. This sums up everything wrong with the way that most people value nature in the UK. This has left me almost speechless

    1. May I offer that I think it is more a case of it evidencing a planning system that is not fit for purpose.

      A system which allows developers the opportunity to appeal but not the individual / community illustrates the Government approach of flushing away red tape which prevents profit for private individuals and corporate development. JRs are incredibly expensive and a tortuous process, if successful it simply return the counters to the beginning of the process. That's not to say, they shouldn't be undertaken and good luck to the Derby consortium.

      It is time that common sense took back control and through joined up thinking delivered socio-environmental benefits and not just coins into the coffers of corporations, landowners and political animals working for them.

      It's sad that a great many people are otherwise distracted to realise what is happening, tomorrow as they say will be too late?

  3. A high court judge granted us an interim injunction yesterday (19th Feb) which has stopped earth moving and scrub clearing work on site (though 70-80% has been done already!). Our case will be heard in full on Monday (24th)....fingers crossed!

  4. Sadly, this tale comes as no surprise to me. In 2007 the East Riding of Yorkshire Council declared the fields and the common on the east side of Beverley a protected landscape whilst at the same time they were 'directing' the local Primary Care Trust to the very same site on which to build a new hospital. This was when the PCT themselves requested permission for a different site - this is of course illegal!
    The Sequential Test used to justify this decision was a joke and the Exception Test used to justify building in Flood Zone 3a was pure fiction. The end result is the loss of a Medieval landscape, the removal of 880m of Medieval hedgerow and light pollution spilling onto the common which is used by seven species of bat, which is a Local Wildlife Site and, if it were not a common, would have been notified as an SSSI (and possibly SPA) due to its fantastic wetland bird assemblages.
    The problem is, the local council is supposed to act as guardian for these sites and protect them from those who do not value them, however, in many cases they are not up to the job as they themselves support the development at which point, legal protection is simply ignored in the expectation that JRs are few and far between.
    Glad to hear the injunction was upheld today - I just wish we had had the funds to do the same to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council in relation to Swinemoor.


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