Wildlife Trust responds to light pollution fears sparked over new North Fambridge estate

WILDLIFE trust bosses have voices concerns over possible light pollution from a proposed 75-home development at North Fambridge.

Essex Wildlife Trust is concerned about six-metre lamp-posts included in outline plans for the Fambridge Road development which was approved earlier this year.

Campaigners rallied against the lighting which they claim would “severely affect” local wildlife.

The trust said: “Essex Wildlife Trust has expressed its serious concerns regarding the proposed lighting strategy.

“The installation of standard urban street lighting would materially alter the light levels in the environment and result in considerable light intrusion.

“Currently the intrinsically dark landscape has allowed wildlife to thrive in the area, including nocturnal species such as barn owls, bats, migratory birds which travel at night and invertebrates such as glow worms.”

The boundary of the application site is less than 80 metres from Blue House Farm Nature Reserve on the north bank of the River Crouch.

The trust added: “We are concerned that this would have a significant adverse impact on the wildlife and ecosystems found on the nature reserve and that use the adjacent land.”

Campaigner Jennifer Squire said: “This response validates our concerns regarding the detrimental impact of industrial lighting on our village wildlife.

“It suggests that the six-metre lighting is unsuitable.

“I hope that this response will influence the choice of lighting for the proposed Manor Farm development and will cause the developers, David Wilson Homes, to reconsider the current, inappropriate lighting scheme for the Fambridge Road estate.”

She is collecting signatures to a petition this week and will write to the developer in a bid to sway them.

Maldon District Council says it has not yet received details of proposed lighting at the smaller 30 home proposal for Manor Farm.

Director of service delivery Richard Holmes said: “The council is aware of the sensitive location of the site and has recently revised the wording of the lighting condition attached to the new planning permission.

“The council have made it clear that any lighting at the site must be sensitively designed to minimise disturbance to wildlife and to fit with the ecological strategy for the site.”

Source: Braintree & Witham Times, 14th December 2019