Tuesday 1st November 2011

Common Lizards (c) Dave KilbeyCommon Lizards (c) Dave Kilbey

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is alarmed about planning proposals submitted for the Railway Triangle off Metz Way in Gloucester. The Trust believes the plans are unsustainable and not respecting the needs of wildlife or the health and well-being of local residents.

The brown field site - long abandoned in the middle of the City – is home to a large population of common lizards, as well as a range of plants birds and insects.

Instead of incorporating this interest into the development where it could be an asset to be enjoyed by the local community, the proposals make no provision for any open space at all and it is planned to ship the reptiles to a refuge site outside the City.

plans concentrate solely on the economic benefits

“The development is at the heart of one of the most built up areas in the City” said Dr. Colin Studholme, Director of Policy & Research at the Trust. “The plans concentrate solely on the economic benefits and ignore the enormous potential of providing much needed access to open space for local people and wildlife.”

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust had hoped to have seen a far more imaginative scheme come forward for this site – one which could be a real long term asset to the City. Open space where wildlife could thrive and people could enjoy the wonders of nature on their doorstep.

Instead we have another supermarket and business units and only token landscaping, we believe that economic benefit can go hand in hand with wildlife benefit. Guidance is that we should be planting more trees and vegetation in our cities to help future generations cope with the impact of climate change. This is a lost opportunity.

“Reptiles have declined, primarily through habitat loss, for example intensive farming, and urbanisation.” Said county amphibian and reptile recorder, Colin Twissell “It is a scandal that no consideration is given to this population of common lizards, which have a restricted distribution in the county, other than to have them translocated.

The site would benefit from some sympathetic landscaping, incorporating the requirements of these lizards.”

The Trust is objecting to the scheme and is asking Councillors to reject the proposals in favour of a more environmentally-friendly design that incorporates open space with habitat for lizards as well as more tree and shrub planting and even green roofs.