Re-consultation on application 23/03181/FUL Kingsmeadow School*

Has it only been  5 minutes since the Leader of Kingston Council proclaimed 'we want Kingston to become a leading borough protecting and enhancing the local environment....' 

That was only for Sustainable September it seems, as now, in Miserable May we are back to 'where are we going to move the Kingsmeadow Slow Worms to'? Kingston Cemetery and Knollmead have been rejected after surveys (at our expense) proved unsuitable. 

More recently, surveyors at Rose Walk, LNR, have declared that the Kingsmeadow Slow Worms can be translocated there, even though there is already an 'Excellent' population. The move will require some habitat management- including the addition of some log refugia-  to take the ousted Slow Worms and may lead to the  eventual demise of both populations, as per evidence in literature  to show that translocations do not work.

There will be no conservation benefit to either population; an expensive move (sufficient for the purchase of a small area of land) and not supported by the current government standing advice and the HGBI Guidelines.

Now the third planning application affecting the Slow Worm population at Kingsmeadow, with more to come when the weir is removed (fourth). The population at the rear of Fat Boys cafe has been moved once and is now to be moved again.development-at-204-210c-cambridge-road

The planning application for this site contained both  habitat onsite and an  'offset' for Slow Worms, which has now been dishonoured and is not the first offset that the council have ignored in their own planning applications.

Basically the proposals are dysfunctional as:

- this is the 2nd translocation in 18 mths (technically a hybrid model was used);

- the third planning application for Kingsmeadow affecting Slow Worms since 2019;

- the Kingsmeadow Slow Worm population has been under-counted;

- Translocation will have a bad impact on the Rose Walk population;

- Rose Walk has been identified in an Environment Agency strategy (so the SW may need moving again). 

It is difficult to explain this to the council as they only  care about these issues in September it seems Daily Express :Slow-worm-threat-Kingston-council-woman-bullied


*This is an application to build a five storey C of E secondary school, relocate some of the sports facilities at Weir Archer Academy, demolish some preschool buildings as well as alter the car parking facilities.


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