Victory

Objection to the environmental damage & 'development' of Hillcrest Estate DC/18/106600

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We are long standing residents of Lewisham who have an intimate knowledge of living in this area, but no-one is listening to our citizen-led guidance (Sydenham Society, Longton Avenue Residents Association, Friends of Hillcrest Woods, Friends of Sydenham Wells Park)

 Hillcrest Woods is Borough Grade 1 Site of Important Nature Conservation (SINC) woodland so why are Lewisham Homes building on this when this is against the London Plan guidance?

 It’s a beautiful, natural environment whose value for local people is being totally ignored.  Read Chris Packham’s article in the Guardian on 11th June 2018 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/11/chris-packham-springwatch-warns-of-ecological-apocalypse-britain  Hillcrest Woods is not labelled as a nature reserve like Devonshire Road or Garthorne Road but it is even more important as a natural environment.  We already have pink campion, yellow flag iris, ramsons, bluebells, and ragged robin wildflowers which are lost and much lamented elsewhere in the UK.  We naturally have bats, owls, willow warblers, great tits, woodpeckers, magpies, ducks, sparrow hawks, purple hairstreak butterflies, stag beetles, foxes, lizards, newts, frogs, toads and bees.  We also have endangered and at risk species such as hobby, kestrel, swift, collard dove, sparrow and firecrest – why not protect what we already have?

 We are being force-fed a vision, designed in Edinburgh, of how we want to live that is not real.  In fact it’s the opposite of how we currently live or want to live in the future. Lewisham Labour party campaigned in May 2018 on its Green legacy and that the future administration would be clean and green.  This development is building on Lewisham’s green legacy – why?  We feel duped.

 Lewisham has many spaces that would benefit from good housing development – Willow Way and the Gas Works at Bell Green.  Why not build on these instead?

 Lewisham has an appallingly low percentage of greenness - 14% compared to the London average of 20%.  Why are you building on an already beautiful green space?

 THE MAYOR’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLENTATION PLAN (MAY 2018) This development is in direct contravention of the Mayor’s environmental implementation plan aiming for London to become the world’s first National Park City where more than half the area is green and we conserve and enhance London’s wildlife and natural habitats.

Building on Borough Grade 1 SINC woodland containing a high percentage of ancient trees. It is an important part of the green chain walk linking Crystal Palace Park and Sydenham Hill Woods. It is the only nesting site for owls in Lewisham
It’s a wildlife corridor linking Crystal Palace Park to Sydenham Hill Woods therefore should not be destroyed. Proposed to remove 42 mature woodland trees which cannot be replaced. The importance of this green infrastructure should be protected as part of the London Plan (due 2019/20) that protects the Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and public green spaces and ensures no net loss in overall green cover.   It should be on the All London Green Grid, the green infrastructure focus map and greenness index 2018.

The noise, air pollution, light pollution will have an adverse effect on people’s health and well being and that of the wildlife. Already a beautiful, natural, green space which people enjoy living in - this development will totally ruin it.  Not enhancing the quality of life for everyone as it should do.

 

THE MAYOR’S FROM POLICY TO ACTION PLAN:-

 Make more than half of London’s area green by 2050. The Forestry Commission and London Tree Partnership are preparing an urban Forest Plan in 2019 which will support larger scale woodland creation projects in the Green Belt and other suitable locations, improve the methods and data to identify locations for tree planting and promote best practice in managing and planting trees in the urban environment – so why are Lewisham Homes rushing through this destruction of an already important woodland site in 2018? 

The Mayor’s Environmental plan is also developing a campaign and toolkit in 2019 to promote better environmental management of domestic gardens to encourage Londoners to do their bit to conserve wildlife, prevent flooding and improve air quality – in this area we are already keen gardeners doing our bit for conservation and totally support all the measures.

There are Greener City grants funding including money for tree planting, community green spaces and strategic projects – why is Lewisham not protecting our green community space? There will be more research to explore options for improving environmental outcomes in the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land.
Conserve and enhance London’s wildlife and natural habitats

To help achieve this objective, the Mayor will:-

Embed policies in the London Plan (due for publication in 2019/20) that ensures protection of Sites of Nature Conservation Importance and Regionally Important Geological sites to encourage a net gain in biodiversity, the protection of trees and woodlands and additional tree planting.  To do this a biodiversity net gain approach for London will be developed by 2019.  - We already have the Great North Wood Project being implemented in Hillcrest Woods by the London Wildlife Trust and Friends of Hillcrest Woods.  Why is this not being protected?
Update priority habitats and species lists for London and provide guidance on their conservation in 2018. We have bats, owls, willow warblers, great tits, swifts, woodpeckers, magpies, ducks, sparrowhawks, purple hairstreak butterflies, stag beetles, foxes, lizards, newts, frogs, toads, bees so why not protect what we already have?

Produce and publish guidance on improving the ecological value of parks and green spaces by 2019
Establish a way of monitoring ecological change using consistently collected data by 2019 in order to highlight trends and inform strategic land-management decisions.
 

Value London’s natural capital as an economic asset and support greater investment in green infrastructure

To help this the Mayor will:-

Establish a Green Space Commission in 2018 to report on new models for delivery and management of green infrastructure. 
Review and update the framework provided by the London Green Grid Supplementary Planning Guidance in 2020
Establish National Park City week in summer 2018 and repeat annually thereafter
In partnership with the National Park City Foundation, declare London A National Park City Charter and hosting an international summit in 2019

We strongly want Hillcrest Woods and the wider community to be part of this so Lewisham Homes why are you destroying it?



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