Abney Biodiversity Defeats Sainsburys - Will They Appeal?
The formal decision of the planning sub-committee which rejected the Wilmer Place Sainsbury's has been published on the LBH website. As expected it sites damage to Abney's biodiversity as one of only three reasons. The others are lack of large housing units and conflict with heritage and the conservation area landscape.
Significantly the decision sites Core Strategy Policy 27 on Biodiversity and similar provisions in the London Plan. These were not even mentioned in the planning officer's report that recommended approval. These policies were central to our objections and occupied much of the debate. Crucially this makes the developer's task on appeal quite hard. Having been rejected on grounds of biodiversity the applicant will have to show this is wrong. At last we are forcing the debate to be about the real issues. Hitherto the developer was trying to sideline ecology or invisibilise it altogether.
It is not over yet but this decision is defendable if an appeal is lodged.
Meanwhile we need to ensure the planning department do not hide biodiversity from members of the planning committee on future applications.
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