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Local Nature Reserves

Meeting: 30/10/2018 - Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee (Item 84)

84 Local Nature Reserves pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Deanne Cunningham, Team Leader (Heritage, Landscape and Design) presented her report which scoped the requirements for the creation of additional Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) and set out a list of sites identified in a recent Member Survey.

 

The Committee noted that an additional four sites were included in the Maidstone Borough Council Annual Monitoring Report 2017 as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.  However, if Members wanted to move forward with a programme for creating new LNRs and strengthening policy, then a robust evidence base would be required with a framework for assessment.  In addition a Consultant would need to be appointed to carry out a full feasibility study. 

 

Councillor Adkinson spoke on this item as a Visiting Member.

 

The Chairman read out a statement from Councillor Round who could not be present and made the following points:-

 

·  He drew attention to the work done at Policy and Resources Committee in respect of the Medway Flood Action Plan to reduce the risk of harm from flooding. 

·  He advised that the Headcorn Parish Council, Ward Members and other agencies were working together to improve an area along the Headcorn Beult SSSI with the objective to provide a public area for conservation and wildlife.

 

In the proceeding discussion, Members made the following comments:-

 

·  Once the Bio-Diversity Action Plan had been agreed a further report on Nature Reserves should be considered to reconsider areas eligible to become nature reserves, including River Medway corridor.

·  The Council only had two designated nature reserves and this needed to be increased.

·  That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 July 2017 did not include amendments made to the 10 Year Parks and Open Spaces Plan but carried a recommendation that the Officer should make the amendments according to what was said at the meeting.  Therefore a Reference should be made to the Democracy Committee to request that the Committee ask for minutes to include all amendments made at Committee meetings to promote transparency.

RESOLVED:  That

 

1)  The report be noted. 

2)  A more detailed evaluation and feasibility assessment of sites be carried out.

3)  The 10 year Parks and Open Spaces Plan be published on the Council’s website as soon as possible.

4)  The Democracy Committee be requested to look at the value of including any amendments to a strategic document, that have been moved and agreed by a Committee, in the minutes to create more transparency.

Voting:  Unanimous