FAIRLOP WATERS: Local conservationists protest lorry road plans for Ilford nature reserve

Hainault – VIJAY SHAH via AARON WALAWALKAR and Ilford Recorder

Redbridge environmental campaigners are protesting against plans to construct a ‘haul road’ for heavy-duty lorries near the scenic Fairlop Waters nature reserve in Ilford, Essex, in the UK, according to a report published by their local newspaper, the Ilford Recorder.

They fear the constant stream of large and noisy trucks carrying gravel on the new route will destroy the peace and feel of the Fairlop Waters Nature Park, which lies in the Hainault area, close to the A12 road and is Redbridge’s largest nature reserve and leisure spot. The park is home to species of rare birds like the long-eared owl and indigenous trees, which the campaigners say will be affected by the new road.

 

The borough council had authorised a map, seen by the protesters and the Recorder newspaper, which appears to show a 13-metre wide road snaking through the south-western reach of Fairlop park, a reserve protected by national law. The road would be used by lorries carrying minerals for construction and was being planned by the council since early 2016, it was reported.

Leading the protest is wildlife group Fairlop Birders. The group’s spokesperson, Chris Gannaway, told the Ilford Recorder: “This is a terrible state of affairs when one group of council officers take the trouble to develop and go through the Local Nature Reserve registering process with Natural England, while the planners allow developers Brett Tarmac to run roughshod over what is now a mature wildlife site.”

Redbridge’s local government have been accused of hiding the true extent of the plans for the road and operating with a lack of scrutiny regarding the future building of the slip route. The council’s planning committee are known to have given conditional planning permission to the road’s builders, Brett Tarmac Limited, as part of plans to extend Fairlop Quarry, in Hainault Road, on the 5th of June this year. Representatives of the council countered by saying the Brett Tarmac application was made through normal rules included site notices, advertisements in the local press, letters to Fairlop’s neighbours, public consultation and a planning committee meeting.

“Before development can proceed, we will be working closely with our partners and environmental agencies to ensure that the relevant planning conditions relating to biodiversity and vehicle movement are discharged.”, a council representative told the Recorder. Brett Tarmac also claimed that they also undertook responsible environmental surveys and public permission seeking before setting about plans for the new road.

SOURCES:

Ilford Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/IlfordRecorder/

“‘This is deplorable’: Wildlife campaigners condemn plans for haulage road near Fairlop Waters nature reserve” – Aaron Walawalkar, Ilford Recorder/Archant (3 August 2018) http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/wildlife-fairlop-waters-protest-haulage-road-1-5637593

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Long Eared Owl (9438319240).jpg” – Ian Kirk via tm, Wikimedia Commons (4 August 2013) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Long_Eared_Owl_(9438319240).jpg

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