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Planning and its consequences


I have a strong feeling this is more of a rant rather than a happy blog. Apologies in advance. I wont be offended if you choose not to read it.

Now I know that an ’Englishman’s home is his castle’, but I do wish there was more of a consideration for the wildlife and the impact planners gave to the other ‘Castles’ near to the proposals.

Our house had open views across fields and the back was surrounded by mature trees in the grounds of a former Georgian Vicarage. Our next door neighbour got planning permission from the council and the Vicarage owner to remove several semi mature Sycamores from the boundary. This gave us and them much more evening light. They did have to pay for the removal and the planting of 6 12ft specimen trees. Which they duly did.

The neighbours then began an extension to their home [11months on and it is nearly complete] which has been inconvenient at times and noisy most of the time. But it is their choice to reduce their garden by half and it has no physical impact on us, so fair enough.

The lower part of the Vicarage had a paddock that was sold and there is a 3 storey house in the process of being built. 8 months in and they have yet to put a complete roof on. That has removed the views of the fields from our kitchen and bedrooms but they have done very little damage to the hedgerows and mature trees in that plot.
This is the only field view we have now. You can just see the house on the left.

This is what we see when we look to the left.

Now this is where I get a little cross. The vicarage garden has had approval for a 5 bedroom 2 storey house. Every one in our street and the others at the other side objected, as well as many villagers. Many about access onto a busy, partly obscured main street. Others re lack of privacy and others about the effect on the wildlife.

All wildlife objections were written off as not of any consequence, despite several commercial wildlife surveys that our data collection contributed to. Lack of privacy was taken more seriously and ‘suitable planting’ was accepted. Nothing to say what would be suitable though. As for traffic issues the council said that traffic wasn’t an issue. They don’t live here though so how would they know.

On Thursday the chainsaws started and all but the Beech tree and a few straggly conifers on our boundary all went. So conifers, laurels, apple/pear/plum trees and larch all shredded.

The company said they’d done a nest survey and there was nothing of consequence. We have watched the woodpeckers going in an out of a hollow tree for the last 5 weeks so they were clearly there. They have been using it for the last 8 years. Starlings were in a hedge too and they are on the red list.

They came back this morning and did more hedge next to the garage.

So that one person’s ‘castle’ has removed nesting sites for many birds, undergrowth for hedgehogs, runs for foxes and many small mammals. Our view is not so good and we will be interested to see what suitable planting turns out to be. The council seem happy to promote this ‘infill’ building despite what the local Parish council wants or what is best for Nature. We noticed that the land falls away from us so flooding wont affect us but the other side suffered badly in 2007.

Today we went to a near by specialist nursery and bought several Viburnum opulus, a hornbeam and we will be going back for more British natives. Hopefully this small effort will help provide food and shelter for the remaining wildlife.

Sorry for the rant if you got this far, but this is more than a lack of privacy, this is a total disregard for nature.

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What a headache you've had,Eileen....such a shame the woodpeckers have their territory you have the feeling there are always some rules for others?
We had a smaller,identical situation next door last year....the original cottage was built many,many years ago....the owners hadn't been there long before plans of a huge 2 storey extension were thrust before us. The work took 10 months to complete with constant noise (builders' radios)and disruption. Soon after completion they upped and left for New Zealand! Thankfully our privacy is still intact and no trees were destroyed.

1 May, 2021


Constantly Meadowland.
By the time this is new one is built we will have had builders next to us for 2 years. I have learnt to say good morning etc in Polish mind. :o)

1 May, 2021


Well,that can be thought of as an added bonus!!!!

1 May, 2021


This is the sort of action that makes me screaming mad, so I understand your feelings. The Government pays lip service to green issues but Nature Conservation seems very far down the list. (Witness the destruction by HS2, another Vanity Project, I think. Ancient woodlands sacrificed without a second thought). I think mostly planning is a foregone conclusion over which the little people have no say. Round us the fields are disappearing by the month for Noddy housing. The one nearest the village comes out on to a narrow road at the bottom of the hill, so goodness knows where all the extra cars will go when they want to leave the new estate. We are threatened with another 870 houses - some village! Just another suburb. (This in an AONB!!)

1 May, 2021


Chepstow,our small market town is becoming larger and larger with additional new is already one of the highest polluted places in the UK and they still continue to build.Each house owning 2 cars.We were in the traffic congestion today , a never ending stream .

1 May, 2021


On the outskirts of an old market town [Beverley] they are building 2000+, yes 2000, homes yet the council have refused planning for a park and ride system. Beverley is an amazing market town but there will not be enough schools or GP's without those being included in the 10 yr plan.

well when it all floods they will throw more money at the problem. devastating more green spaces.

1 May, 2021


Well, round here they're too expensive to be starter homes, so I don't understand where the demand is coming from! You're right about GP's and School provision. It's the same here. (We live on an estate but it is on a brown field site.) Ther just isn't any joined-up thinking by the powers that be.

1 May, 2021


I feel for you and the rest of your village neighbours. If I visit somewhere fairly local, I often get lost and think gosh where am I, this has changed since I was last here 6 months ago (maybe that's an exaggeration), but all the roads have been altered to accommodate the extra trafic from a new housing estate. At least I think I am doing my best to provide suitable vegetation etc for our local wildlife.

1 May, 2021


Eileen, I’ve ‘liked’ this blog, as I feel your upset and frustration...I recall you telling me about this when I visited with you. Plus I think you are right to want to put pen to paper so to speak.
I so feel sad for you, your neighbours and the devastating effect on the wildlife! It’s just awful, I’m pretty sure their ‘nest survey’ wasn’t carried out properly, more of a paper exercise...I can only imagine the distress you are feeling.
It’s actually very heartbreaking to hear this and to see your photos. I’m sorry it’s come to this...

1 May, 2021


Thank you for all the support over this.
I am cross but concerned about how it is making Victoria feel. Her raison d'etre is all about conservation and wildlife.
I am making sure I am planting many natives as well as single cultivated plants to offset it, the best I can.

on a lighter note I will have to wash the windows in the kitchen more as the evening sun now shines through and shows every mark!

1 May, 2021


I too feel very sad and angry about what has happened so close to you. It could happen to any of us at any time couldn't it, as decisions are made that lack judgement and consideration for wildlife and the environment and instead focus on income and home improvements.

Your choice of native trees and your plans for the future are wonderful and will help to resolve the situation that has been created by inconsiderate and narrow- minded
individuals. Keep a positive attitude and keep thinking the way you are doing and YOU will make a definite improvement.

I am really sorry about your distress.

1 May, 2021


I totally agree with everything you said Seaburn! It's disgraceful and yes, its one rule for "them" and another for others!
Wild life is slowly disappearing everywhere! In a village near us, trees have been chopped down and despite hundreds of complaints from the people who live there, the powers that be just go ahead anyway and instead of countryside, there is to be a large estate of Barrat homes!

3 May, 2021

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