The ecology analysis of Dido Property Limited’s planning application for the film studio by Buckinghamshire Council’s Ecology Officer was recently published.
The summary is clear:
”Further and better ecological information is required prior to determination.
At this stage, there are both in principle and specific reasons to object to the proposals on ecological grounds.
The fundamental problem with the application is the location in which it is proposed. If the same application were located on a less constrained site it would be able to overcome the objections and may well be welcomed. “
The opening statement is especially damaging:
“If the submitted documents are correct, a very substantial Biodiversity Net Loss would occur on site 20.64 Habitat Units (9.81%) and 0.13 Hedgerow units (1.35%). However, it is questioned whether this has been recorded correctly (both baseline surveys and post-development proposals). I am sure that the actual loss would be greater.
The proposals suggest that an off-site gain of 20% is aspired to, however, no solid proposals of where this would take place have been put forward.”
The detailed analysis goes on to point out missing information (the actual ecology survey results, rather than the methodology), inconsistencies (in the habitat plans & surveys), lacking justification (on habitat designation) and errors (claiming there are no waterways nearby whereas maps show there are; doing 5 instead of 10 surveys).
“As the problems with the surveys result in a down playing of abundance, diversity or value, the level of impacts will automatically be under estimated.”
Based on the Ecology Officer’s analysis, it seems that Dido Property Limited’s biodiversity & ecology assessments/statements are either a display of incompetence or deliberately obfuscating to reduce the site’s natural value. We have our own opinion…