We can’t find nine ladies dancing. Come spring, we will have daffodils fluttering and dancing in the breeze, as per Wordsworth, but feel that the link is tenuous; we will also have ladies’ smocks flowering in the meadows but we used them up yesterday by calling them eight milkmaids.
Instead, we are going to use the ninth day of Christmas to remind you that the public consultation on planning application 20/09659/FUL will end on January 8th at 5.00pm and that if you plan to comment, this week is the time to do it. We have nothing to say on the issue of using the week between Christmas and New Year as part of the required period of public consultation.
 Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan sites H2.4 at Church Lane, H2.5 at Upper Studley and H2.6 at Southwick Court. None of these applications has yet been approved. ]2] Newland Homes’ proposed layout for site H2.5 at Upper Studley.
Planning application 20/09659/FUL, submitted quietly by Newland Homes on December 3rd, proposes the building of 50 houses at Upper Studley, on site H2.5, which slopes steeply down to the Lambrok.
As always, our main concerns are for the proper protection of Lambrok Stream and its biodiversity, and the flight corridor of the thirteen species of bat that hibernate in the Bath and Bradford on Avon Special Areas of Conservation, breed in the woods to the east of Trowbridge, and forage and sometimes roost in Southwick Country Park. There are only eighteen species of bats that live and breed in Britain, and thirteen of those are on our species lists; among them is the Bechstein’s bat, probably the rarest mammal in Britain, and both greater and lesser horseshoe bats.
 Bechstein’s bat;  Greater horseshoe bat
We still find it difficult to understand how Wiltshire allocated these three sites as suitable for development, bearing in mind its Core Strategy, and in particular Core Policy 50: Biodiversity and Geodiversity (on page 260) which says:
Development proposals must demonstrate how they protect features of nature conservation and geological value as part of the design rationale. There is an expectation that such features shall be retained, buffered, and managed favourably in order to maintain their ecological value, connectivity and functionality in the long-term.
If you share our concerns for the biodiversity of Lambrok Stream and Southwick Country Park Nature Reserve, for the protection of the bat flight corridor around the southern edge of Trowbridge, or for the creation of a much-needed Nature Recovery Network along the town’s urban/rural boundaries, please take the time to add your voice to the commentary on this planning application.
Thanks for reminding me to comment on the Upper Studley proposed development. Your post about turtle doves also reminded me of when I lived on the Kent Coast several years ago. During the summer we fed turtle doves from a dish in our garden but one summer they didn’t return and we never saw them again.
Happy to remind everybody about the planning applications!
The turtle dove population has plummeted in the last few years and nobody seems to know why; at least, there are several theories but none proven.