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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Nightingales under threat please help.

Please help Nightingales in neighbouring Berkshire by adding your objections to an ill thought
out planning application. We have all but lost these sublime songsters from our county lets help
to keep them in Berskshire.

Courtesy of Mark Chivers

There is a planning application with West Berkshire Council to put 224 houses and 24 floating homes on Theale Main Lake. The lake and its environs are a stronghold for Nightingale, not only locally but nationally, and we estimate about 50 territories will be lost. 

We are trying to fight it but need as many objections as possible. We know that birders from 
neighbouring counties including Oxfordshire come to Theale just to hear the nightingales.
individual objections it would be a big help. 

The deadline for comments on the planning application for Theale Main Lake is MONDAY 13TH JUNE. Would you please submit any objections you may have as soon as 

You need to quote the following reference numbers to make sure the objections go to the right applications. 
16/01235FUL, 16/01237FUL, 16/01238FUL and 
16/01239FUL which relate to the installation of culverts at Hosehill Lake LNR and Main Lake and 16/01240OUTMAJ which is the application for the 224 houses and 24 floating homes.

Courtesy of  Mark Chivers

There are three ways to object: 

On the Westberks council planning website - (you are restricted to 1000 characters)

By email to the planning department - follow the link on the planning page or email 

A Letter to Head of Planning and Countryside, West Berkshire Council, Market Street, Newbury RG14 5LD.

All documents are open to the public via the website so if you do not want your details made public prepare your objection on a document which does not contain your name and address and attach it to an email however you must put your name and address in the body of the email or it will not be accepted. 

Environmental grounds for objections include: 

The importance of the Lake area for Nightingale, not just locally but nationally - it is one of the few areas where the population is increasing,
The proposed housing site is used by by hunting Barn Owls, and the remainder of the lake by nesting Oystercatcher and other waders, and is an important wintering wildfowl area.

There will be an impact from these new households, increased disturbance by humans and dogs and increased predation by cats on all the wildlife in general. 

There will also be knock on effects on Hosehill LNR through increased footfall, aforementioned domestic pets, and the unknown impact of the culverts on the lake 
bed which could work their way through the food chain and alter everything.

There is a facebook page " Save the Theale Nightingales" which also has the objection details if anyone needs them, and up to date progress reports on the campaign. 

Thanks in advance

Cathy McEwan (Secretary Theale Area Bird Conservation Group)

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