27 July 2016
Pictured: Samir Jeraj, Green Party Housing Spokesperson, Pamela Perkins, local resident, and Michael Holloway, a local Green Party member.
The bat and bird populations on the grounds surrounding Grade ll listed Friday Hill House are in danger of being driven out by current redevelopment works at the property. In November 2015, planning permission for residential development was granted by Waltham Forest Council to Chingford-based developers Friday Hill House Ltd (commonly known as Atlantic), subject to several preconditions. One of these preconditions was to carry out a bat emergence survey at the property. The other was to set up a nesting bird mitigation strategy (PDF Download) if works were to be undertaken between March-October. Measures to protect the wildlife, such as the installation of bat roosting boxes and bird boxes on buildings and trees – would then be required of the developers.
Campaigners in E4 are alarmed that building works have now commenced at Friday Hill House without prior completion of the bat survey. They are demanding a cessation of development until all of the planning conditions are met.
Campaigner Pamela Perkins said: ”I was so outraged by the developers’ insensitive attitude that I recently asked a conservationist friend to help us with her bat detector device. We found that there were indeed several bats in residence on the grounds. Why evict bats from their homes in favour of people?”
Friday Hill House Ltd (Atlantic), which acquired the formerly council-owned property for £1 million in 2013, were initially refused planning permission, but their second application was accepted, with several stringent conditions attached, including the bat survey.
Campaigner Michael Holloway, a Green Party member, added: “Once planning permission is granted, the council are legally required to strictly enforce all of the conditions. We will be watching them closely.”
Samir Jeraj, Housing Spokesperson for the Green Party, said, "This development has no affordable housing, nor have the developers completed the necessary nature studies. It's time for them to go back to the drawing board."