Councillor Craske’s written response to last week’s full Council question as to the deadline for signing of the Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation Review (draft published Dec 2013, deadline for comments on that was way back on Feb 2014), that we didn’t get to put due to the very limited time for public quizzing, is as follows:
‘The current timetable is to present our submission on this to the next meeting of the London Wildlife Sites Board, which is scheduled to take place early in the New Year.
Once they have given their comments, then the final report will be ready for publication, although I am not sure at this stage whether that would be by me or by my colleague Councillor Bailey, as the issue falls within both our remits.’
The LWSB checks the methodology used to identify such sites and can make other comments. According to information on the web, it looks as if that next meeting will be in early February, so final Bexley acceptance might not be until March.
Meanwhile, as ‘BW’ has already revealed, two Bexley SINCs are under imminent threat from planning applications, one of which the review recommends should be promoted from Borough Grade 2 to Grade 1, whilst another area recommended for SINC status is still slated for sale despite almost every respondent telling Bexley Council’s ( motto ‘Listening to you ….’) consultation they don’t want it flogged off and built on. There would now appear to be every danger that the decisions on these sites will be made before the recommendations of the review are accepted by the Council.
Councillor Bailey is the Cabinet member for ‘Regeneration and growth’, which runs counter to the need to ‘regenerate’ key wildlife site and enable ‘growth’ in biodiversity and populations of beleaguered species, instead preferring to further impoverish the Borough in this respect by prioritising lots more concrete and large tin sheds.