THE TOAD’S HOLE VALLEY EFFECT...
As plans for the development of Toad’s Hole Valley have emerged over the past few weeks (“Long-Awaited New Homes Proposed” - Resident Newsletter Winter 2018-19), the thoughts of our members have been sought to understand what concerns there are for the effect that this large development will have on Three Cornered Copse.
Several members attended the meeting at Aldrington School on 24 January 2019, where the representatives of the developers talked through their proposals. Traffic was a main concern of the residents, but the ecology and wildlife welfare also was raised.
In the postcode BN3, according to DEFRA, our dog population is 0.289 dogs per household. This means that the promised 880 new homes could generate another 254 pet dogs. The access to the South Downs may well be included in the plans, but it’s likely a significant increase in usage of the copse will occur as these pets will need walking, some of them through the copse. Other pets, cats for example, will also have an impact on the fauna in nearby green areas.
Our membership has also raised concerns about the developers’ plan to somehow mitigate the loss of dormouse habitat in Toad’s Hole Valley, by building a pathway (a tunnel, a “wildlife corridor”) to allow the dormice to migrate to the copse, as the building work disrupts their environment. Three Cornered Copse is a very different environment to Toad’s Hole Valley, and has only a slight population of dormice. It is debatable as to whether this new pathway will see the successful migration that the planners envisage. Hazel Dormice are a rare and protected species, which will be faced with a more diverse set of predators, (foxes, cats and dogs), in a more urban green space.
Member have also noticed that the plans also seek to widen the King George VI Avenue at the top of Snakey Hill, by taking some of the area of Three Cornered Copse from the council “at no cost”. This will encroach on these dense woodland borders, a habitat for many bird species and mammals, such as rabbits, and ironically, dormice.
It important to stress that no objections about the need for housing and the inevitability of the development have been voiced, but merely about the care and consideration that should be taken for the impact on the areas around, and specifically Three Cornered Copse.
If you have any concerns or questions about the effects of the new development please register these comments on the web site. Search for “Brighton and Hove Planning reference BH2018/03633”.