Track plans for The Sanctuary reversed

©Margaret Holland

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is pleased that Derby City Council has reversed its decision to build a closed circuit cycle track on The Sanctuary Local Nature Reserve.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust had started legal proceedings in an attempt to prevent work taking place.  Following a hearing at the High Court last month, judge Mrs Justice Lang ordered a full hearing on judicial review of the council’s Planning Control Committee’s decision to approve the plans.  The Council has now decided to withdraw its plans to develop on the site.

The Sanctuary was designated as a Local Nature Reserve by the Council in 2006 and is the only bird reserve in the city.  It is used by ground-nesting and rare migrant birds such as skylarks, meadow pipits, snipe, stonechats and lapwings.

This is good news for wildlife, both locally and nationally
Tim Birch
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Manager

“This is good news for wildlife, both locally and nationally.  Building the track on The Sanctuary would have set a dangerous national precedent, potentially paving the way for other local authorities to destroy their own Local Nature Reserves. The council did offer a compensatory site at Alvaston Scrub but this was not suitable compensation as it would have entailed destroying one habitat on a designated Local Wildlife Site to create another, still resulting in an overall loss of wildlife habitats in the city.

He added: “We were never against a cycle race track in particular – we would welcome such a facility in Derby, just not on a nature reserve.”