The Basildon Leisure Park is a one-hectare site that shelters reptiles, birds, and bats. And, on November 6, 2018, the Planning Committee of the Basildon’s Council approved the plans to flatten the woodland in the park through unanimous vote.
One of the main reason for the approval is to provide space for the construction of more industrial units. Despite the reason and the approval, there are still some conditions that must be met by Created Ambition One (the applicant) such as preserving the area’s wildlife and carrying out a full measured survey.
A Brief Description of The Site
There is a woodland that contains blackthorn, alder, willow, ash, and hawthorn trees at the site. It also has well developed oak trees and a running stream in it. According to the council officers, the A127, the festival way, and the waterfront walk are all at the border of the site. Which is said to have so many trees that are about 20+ years old. Because this grand site is about to be lost, a lot of people expressed their concerns for its loss.
People’s Concerns About the Loss of The Land
One of the raised issue on the flattening of the woodland was that, draining the surface waters would be a problem once the trees are gone. But, the lead authority of the local flood said, they would not object to the bulldozing of the trees as far as the developer provide a well detailed scheme for the drainage of the surface water.
Also, the officers of the Basildon council stated that the developer had already provided a plan for draining the water and an assessment of the risk of flood. Whereas, those documents were not made known to the people.
Congestion of traffic and finding a space to park cars was another issue raised by the operator of Quays pub and hotel— a pub that is situated close to the site. That issue was also overruled by the traffic surveyors’ chairperson who saidit would lead to low traffic instead of congested ones.
What the Plan Entails
In total, there would seven units constructed on the site. They would be utilized for offices, industry, distribution, and storage. According to some reports, it was stated that most of the trees would be uprooted doing the process. But, the areas that has wet wood located at the boundaries of the north and east would be left behind. Also, an installed barrier would protect the roots of the retained woods.
The reason the officers of the council nominated the site approval was because they believe it would open about 35 new employment opportunities for the community. Besides that, it is going to increase the industrial units stock as well. Furthermore, the arboricultural officer stated that if there is a plan to replace the trees, the plan would not be objected to.
Again, the council replied, there was already a plan for 15 different species of new trees to be put in place by the developer. Inclusive in that plan are different varieties of flowers, shrubs, herbs, and hedges. Finally, they concluded some conditions must be met for the plan to be approved. This include building houses for the birds. The sheltered bats should be relocated to a different place. And, that they must protect the reptiles.