Society objects to new development which is approved by North Tyneside Council.
In February 2015 the Society learnt of a planning application for a new leisure development on the opposite side of the road to Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. This was for a new American concept restaurant and games venue called Max-a-Millions.
The small area of land supports a wide range of species, many from the reserve, including several red-listed species such as Grasshopper Warbler. The developer’s contractors cleared the site of all trees and shrubs before the nesting season got underway. We met with the developer’s agent to try and persuade them to compensate for habitat loss. They agreed to some cosmetic changes but were not willing to make any significant concessions for wildlife (they had won over senior figures at North Tyneside Council).
The Society submitted an objection and Save Gosforth Wildlife organised a protest at the site. We were able to generate hundreds of objections, including from local MPs and Councillors. Despite this, the application was passed by North Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee without the need for any further ecological mitigation. Of the planning issues the Society has been dealing with in recent years this was one of the most depressing and is inconsistent with the current planning systems’ aim for “no net biodiversity loss”.
You can read an online article about this story in the Chronicle