The decision on RPS’s application to build 65 houses on the field south of Church Lane has been delayed again, until July 31st. We expect that this is, in part, to allow the Secretary of State’s Inspector, Stephen Lee, to make his decision and final report on Wiltshire’s Housing Site Allocation Plan.
Of the Consultees who were asked by the planning department to contribute to the public consultation on planning application 18/10035/OUT which ended on 21st December 2018, several did not reply before the deadline. Wiltshire Council’s Arboriculturist submitted a report on January 18th which was not made public until FoSCP made enquires; it supports the application if some very stringent conditions are met.
One of the Consultees who did not contribute to the public consultation was Wiltshire Council’s Ecology Department; neither have they contributed since. There has been a suggestion that the ecological assessment of the Church Lane site and the other sites in WHSAP will be left to the developers. In light of the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal that RPS submitted with its application to develop the Church Lane site, we think that this is an error.
The year has been punctuated with terrifying international reports about the planet’s failing biodiversity. Britain’s has been outed as one of the world’s most damaged ecologies, a terrible indictment against a background of rainforests laid waste by plantations. This is not the right time for anybody to shrug off the responsibility of knowing, understanding and taking steps to save their local ecologies and the web of lives they support.