UK authorities greenlight yet another project that will raze homes for wildlife

Wildflower meadow
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Another day in the UK, another home for wildlife is greenlit for so-called development. Much to the horror of those demanding that Brislington Meadows in Bristol be left well alone, the Planning Inspectorate has approved housebuilding on the wildlife haven:

News about UK authorities charging forward with activities that disturb, damage or destroy wild spaces and beings is a common occurrence. This is despite the fact that the world is in the grip of an extinction crisis.

Government approves its own Nature-damaging plan

As Bristol24/7 reported, the Planning Inspectorate has approved housebuilding on Brislington Meadows, which is:

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a site much-loved by locals and rich in natural habitats and mature trees

The Planning Inspectorate is an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). It made the decision in an appeal brought by Homes England, which is behind the housebuilding project. Homes England appealed Bristol City Council’s failure to issue its own decision on the proposal by a set deadline.

Funnily enough, Homes England is also sponsored by DLUHC. In other words, one arm of the government has ruled that another arm of the same department can move forward with building on the wildlife haven.

Benefits and harms of Brislington Meadows’ development?

The BBC highlighted that the Planning Inspectorate acknowledged that the project will raze around a quarter of Brislington Meadows’ trees and three-quarters of its hedgerows. But it concluded – during an extinction crisis – that the “benefits of the proposal significantly outweigh the harms”.

The nearly 600 objections to the proposal from residents suggest many disagree with this conclusion.

Katja Hornchen and Tim Rippington, two local councillors, commented:

We, alongside residents, believe that Brislington Meadows’s ecological values far outweighs the benefits of building houses there and we made this view clear to the Planning Inspectorate

The campaign group Save Brislington Meadows is considering exploring other options, such as a judicial review, to safeguard the wildlife haven. Others have also called on the council to take swift measures to protect other areas at risk:

Nature under threat

Elsewhere in the UK, councils have also been busy wiping green spaces and wildlife habitats off the map:

There are plans in the pipeline that threaten further destruction too:

The UK is already one of the most Nature-depleted countries on Earth. It also sits at the bottom of a European list for Nature connectedness. Its ceaseless approval of developments like Brislington Meadows, which mainly serve the capitalist system’s pursuit of never-ending growth, is worsening an already dire situation.

Featured image via Norman Caesar / Geograph, cropped to 770×403, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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