KEY NIGHTINGALE SITE STILL UNDER THREAT
Lodge Hill, home to 1.5 per cent of UK’s nightingale population, is targeted for development.
The future of Britain’s most important nightingale site is still in doubt, despite the withdrawal of a planning application for 5,000 homes.
The former military base of Lodge Hill, in North Kent, was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 2013 because of its estimated 85 singing male nightingales.
In 2014, the planning authority Medway Council approved plans for 5,000 homes at Lodge Hill. More than 12,000 people objected, and the application was due to go to a Public Inquiry in 2018.
Medway Council says it expects to receive a new application for developing the site in the coming months. “By 2035, we must build 30,000 new homes to keep up with our expanding population and each and every suitable development site is key,” says council leader Alan Jarrett.
The British nightingale population declined by 60 per cent between 1995 and 2009.