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Continued Pressure On Greenfield Developments

Northam Town Council has recommended first level refusal of a proposed development on greenfield land, which includes 200 new homes.

Campaigners in Northam have been warned they are in for a long fight after a proposal on land at Heywood Road has caused the townsfolk to plead with councillors to object to the plans. Councillors have agreed that the proposals should be refused.

Described as a “high density concrete jungle” by Tony Barstow of Lenwood Park, many locals are disgruntled by the idea of developing a significant area of open land.

“Ecologically the proposed development is unsound. This is an open countryside – greenfield – site and forms a significant area of open land which contains an important wildlife corridor that links with Kenwith Nature Reserve,” Tony said.

“The proposed landscaping and wildlife mitigation offered are ill-conceived and do nothing to compensate for the material harm to both character and appearance of the countryside if the plan were to be permitted.”

He continued: “This open green space provides recreational amenity for the wider community, which has been enjoyed by many generations. This will be lost with the diversion of the ancient public right of way which will become a tarmacked path through, for the most part, a high density concrete jungle.”

The townspeople are also worried about flood risk, with the development potential increasing flooding downstream and impacting the Critical Drainage Area centred around Kenwith.

Councillor Roger Tisdale agreed with the concerns of the community, and said that he strongly opposed the developments, as did Councillor Kenny Davis. Councillor’s at the meeting agreed to recommend refusal to Torridge District Council on grounds of potential flooding risk, the effect on wildlife and loss of amenities.

“It’s important that developers bear in mind that greenfield doesn’t guarantee a diverse and rich habitat,” warns Alex Brearley, Managing Director of agb Environmental.

“In fact, there are many examples of brownfield land providing valuable habitats with large populations of protected species.

“Ecology surveys for the identification of protected species forms an essential part of many development projects, both greenfield and brownfield.

“Equally a thorough Flood Risk Assessment can identify and propose mitigation for the risks posed by a development to downstream communities. “Ecological surveys and Flood Risk Assessments are two of the services that we offer to ensure developers can adequately deal with the issues being raised by Northam Town Council”.

To discuss alternative options for your developments and to ensure the correct provisions are made for ecology and flood risk please contact Alex Brearley on 01638 663226 or email alex@agbenvironmental.co.uk.

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