Members and supporters may be aware of the application for a housing development immediately next to Rainton Meadows on the fields bordering the access road onto the nature reserve – Sunderland planning reference 18/00993/OU4 Land to west of Mallard Way.
The Trust, following discussions with the applicant and careful consideration of the information submitted felt there was no alternative but to object on the following grounds:
- Allocations – the site isn’t allocated for housing in the existing City of Sunderland plan or the plan that is currently being consulted on.
- Ecology – there is inadequate mitigation for the habitat that will be destroyed and for the indirect impacts on the site. The Trust is particularly concerned about the Willow Tit population on Rainton Meadows, which could be of national significance.
- Flooding – there is little information presented on how flood risk will be addressed. The proposed housing site already floods on an annual basis as do areas of Rainton Meadows, including the access road.
- Landscape – the development will destroy the rural setting and character of the Rainton Meadows nature reserve.
Durham Wildlife Trust is also concerned that the proposed is not in keeping with the original agreement that established Rainton Meadows as a nature reserve following open cast mining at the site. It is also worth noting that City of Sunderland officers have stated that the development will be damaging to the local economy due to impacts on neighbouring businesses.
If you like to see a full copy of the Trust’s objection please email firstname.lastname@example.org