Great news yesterday that the planning application which proposed 5000 houses on one of the best nightingale sites in the countryside has been withdrawn.
Lodge Hill, a SSSI woodland and former MOD site is a fabulous local resource for wildlife and people. Purple emperor butterflies have recently been discovered breeding there and early purple orchids grow along the damp shady paths.
Despite all of this the site was earmarked for development. A position championed by Medway Council. 12,000 people protested, spearheaded by the RSPB’s Save Lodge Hill campaign and now the developer, if not the council, has listened to local people and withdrawn its plans.
This is great news but we all know the way these things go. Tomorrow I fear will come another application and then another and another. One ‘No’ is never enough. Developers attempt to wear people down. Planners have no fight left in them even when they know developments are wrong and the government does nothing of any real worth to protect our countryside and resolve the housing issues by capping prices in London and making sure all new developments are 100% affordable.
Shame on Simon Jones Medway Council’s leader for condemning the developer for pulling out. For once common sense has prevailed and today at least Lodge Hill is safe.