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Take a Stand for Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

19th March 2019

You will surely have heard that Persimmon Homes have submitted a NEW application to build 217 homes on the land opposite Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. In doing so, threatening to damage Newcastle’s most diverse Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We remain staunchly proposed to any residential development here and have reiterated our objection to the plan on the following grounds:

  1. The proposed development is contrary to North Tyneside Council’s adopted Local Plan which designates the site for employment use.
  2. The current application does not provide suitable access to public green space. Increased trespass onto the nature reserve and surrounding private land, particularly from dog walkers, will disturb biodiversity. Protected species, such as otter, bittern, badger, and red squirrel, will be threatened, and vulnerable habitats degraded.
  3. Residential properties will bring cats and dogs to the site. Predation of birds and small mammals in the SSSI will be detrimental. During initial discussions Persimmon suggested that a covenant is applied prohibiting cat ownership, however they have no way of checking or enforcing this, making it meaningless. We consider that the proposed mitigation for cat predation will be completely ineffective at preventing cat ownership which will result in a negative impact on wildlife in the SSSI.
  4. The development does not comply with the approved policy. A detrimental effect to the SSSI is contrary to the Council’s policies to protect biodiversity (DM5 and DM6).
  5. The proposed development poses a clear threat to strategic wildlife corridors.

We hope that you, our members and supporters, will join us in providing a voice for local wildlife. You can object here. Doing so only takes a few minutes.

The value of Gosforth Park Nature Reserve for wildlife is widely known. The site is home to badgers, red squirrels, otters and a thriving population of roe deer, as well as countless scarce birds, insects and wildflowers – including the nationally rare Coralroot Orchid. This, coupled with the valued placed on Newcastle’s wildlife corridors and GPNR as a tranquil green space, perfect for respite, mean that people care deeply for the site.

The below video, kindly created by our friends at Wild Intrigue highlights GPNR through the eyes of just a few of the people involved in its protection. Take a look for more information on the reserve and likely impacts of the latest attempt by Persimmon to hem in the site with development.