Inquiry live – the end

After 10 blogs in our special ‘Inquiry live!’ series, we come to the end of the Oaken Wood Public Inquiry:

Oaken-Wood“Tuesday (December 18th) was the last day of the Public Inquiry. The session was spent giving closing submission to the Planning Inspector.

Kent Wildlife Trust provided their closing submission first which covered the status of the ancient woodland and details on the ecology of the site, and concluded by saying that the site should not be lost due to paragraph 118 in the National Planning Policy Framework;

“planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the
loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland
and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland,
unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location
clearly outweigh the loss;”.

Gallagher’s and Kent County Council’s closing submissions reiterated their evidence and both submissions included references to local and National Policy, the value of the site and the fact that the site is a Plantation on Ancient Woodland site (PAWS).

The Woodland Trust’s closing statement reiterated our view that a balance needs to be struck, for the need to protect ancient woodland and the need to protect mineral rights. Also included in our submission was the impact on landscape, ancient woodland soils and mitigation/compensation.

When closing submissions were over the Planning Inspector confirmed that at the present time he was unable to provide us with a timetable for when the report was to be sent to the Secretary of State, however this is going to be forthcoming in the next few days. We will let you know as soon as we hear.

The Inspector then formally closed the Public Inquiry.

We would like to say ‘Thank You’ to Kent Wildlife Trust for attending the Inquiry with us and providing the ecological argument. Thanks also go to our Victoria and Matina for the homemade sandwiches which kept the team going!

And I would like to conclude this blog series with a final THANK YOU to everyone who has offered us support and encouragement in the last few weeks. Your support has meant a lot to the team.

Merry Christmas!”

Katharine Rist – Campaigner, Ancient Woodland

Read our Nikki’s final post on the Oaken Wood inquiry later…  

About Kaye Brennan

Senior Campaigner (Policy & Advocacy) for the Woodland Trust and Administrator, 'Woodland Matters' blog
This entry was posted in Campaigning, Climate Change, Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), Protection, WoodWatch and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Inquiry live – the end

  1. Hello there! This is my first visit to your
    blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  2. Pingback: Here we go again! | Woodland Matters

  3. I have been here so many times before. If for some ‘unaccountable’ reason the Secretary of State decides against conservation, you can bet your pension that there will only be a ‘written answer’ after the event, quietly slipped into parliamentary business when some scandalous intrigue of national interest is focussing public attention elsewhere.

  4. Lesley says:

    Kaye, Many thanks for your posts over the last few weeks, I was unable to attend the enquiry myself but feel that I have been fully kept up-to-date via your blog. Finger’s crossed for the right decision to protect this valuable ancient woodland.

    • Nikki Williams says:

      We are really glad that you felt fully up to date, that is really lovely feed back – thank you. & extra thanks for the crossed fingers🙂

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