This week the Planning Inspectorate upheld Lewisham Local Planning Authority’s decision to refuse planning permission for a development at St Mildred’s Road, Hither Green. Although in many circumstances, this might not be a cause for celebration, in this case the development site is of ecological value – a Borough Grade II Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) – and it was the right outcome. As such it has intrinsic value for flora and fauna and, as it connects further designated sites across London’s landscape, it also has an important function as a green corridor.
The Ecology Consultancy provided the key evidence to demonstrate the site’s value through extensive survey work. Our team of ecologists showed that insufficient ecological data had been obtained to support the planning application, and we were able to establish that ecological impacts had not been thoroughly considered.
Principal Ecologist, Dr Sarah Yarwood-Lovett was the expert witness representing Lewisham at the Hearing. She said, “We were delighted to assist Lewisham Council in protecting their valuable SINC site. These sites are of particular importance, in an urban context, and full consideration to habitats and species need to be considered in any planning process.”
A Lewisham Council spokesperson said “The decision by the Inspectorate is welcomed as the proposal may have had a significant impact on the Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.”