Green Cllr Treloar has confirmed that the ecologist was NOT present when the tree clearance works were to commence on Monday. In the absence of a nesting bird survey and the absence of a qualified ecologist the work should have never been authorised. Our complaint to the authorities to stop should have been upheld and a thorough investigation completed before work was allowed to start.
It’s official! A reliable nesting bird survey was not carried out prior to tree felling on the north bank of the Royal Military Canal at Prince’s Parade. An ad-hoc assessment was done by the ecologist at the time (Correction! The ecologist was not even present although the council operations manager had suggested she was in attendance) the work was carried out and as such is completely unsatisfactory. Natural England and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs give guidance for local planning authorities which you can read here: https://www.gov.uk/…/wild-birds-surveys-and-mitigation-for-…
Here are some extracts from this document:
“ASSESS THE IMPACTS
Assess the impacts this development would have on wild birds if no mitigation measures were planned. Impacts to consider include:
-damaging or removing breeding sites
-disturbing birds and their young – this is an offence for certain birds
-removing vegetation and changing habitats
First, consider whether the development could be done differently to avoid affecting birds, eg by:
– siting the development away from breeding birds
– avoiding parts of the site
– doing works at a different time of year. NO WORKS SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN IN THE BREEDING SEASON (MARCH TO AUGUST)
– ensuring important habitats are protected and maintained
– remove habitat features when they are not being used by birds, eg remove habitat before nesting season
– Provide replacements for any nesting sites you remove, such as:
– nest boxes…
– creating new habitats”
Cllr Monk has branded these facts as misinformation on our part. Quite incredible when it is readily available as guidance for local planning authorities. The amount of secrecy that has surrounded this development from its inception, belies the undeniable reality that if anyone is responsible for misinformation, that claim should be laid firmly at Cllr Monk’s door. How much misinformation have he and his cabinet fed to other members of the council?
F&HDC have a real problem with transparency. This is being highlighted by some councillors who themselves have to apply freedom of information requests in order to obtain basic information that should be readily available at least to them, if not the wider public.
We will try to keep you informed of any activity, but equally please let us know if you feel there is anything we should know. We will do our best to reply although as we are all small group, please allow some time for a response. Also, you can head to our refreshed website which contains a wealth of information from reports and objections to planning documents and membership enquiries https://saveprincesparade.org/
Save Prince’s Parade (via Facebook)
For a first hand account of the tree and vegetation clearance as it began, read this article by Mark Brophy for Kent Bylines