2013 Inquiry: Kendal's Strawberry field lapwings  -  Henry Adams                              
 My web-site HUB page HERE
KSF & its Lapwings - hub page VIDEO of KSF lapwings PHOTOS of KSF My submission to Inquiry Inpector re KSF Lapwings Lapwing links Facebook page for KSF

Location: Kendal Town Hall. Date I was there to talk and be questioned on the Strawberry field and lapwings: Wednesday 19th June.

The inquiry concerned a proposed housing development in the “Green Triangle” at the SE edge of Kendal, which would destroy at least a fifth of the Strawberry field (which has supported breeding lapwings for many years). I was acting as an independent ecological consultant ‘witness’ to support both Dennis Reed’s larger contribution as Chairman of TOG - the Triangle Opposition Group, Kendal, as well as my own independent assessment as a consultant - though must admit an interest as a resident living in SE Kendal - and thus having a strong concern for the well-being of living things that reside here (species including Homo sapiens).
However - by agreement with Dennis Reed my role in the inquiry was confined to the Lapwings of the Strawberry field and the wildlife and site features on which they depend. (Most of the area covered by the development proposal would be the green field to the North-West of the Strawberry field - a significant proportion of the green gap between Kendal and Oxenholme).

View of Kendal's Strawberry field
    1 minute video clip of Kendal's Strawberry field lapwings by Dave Weatherley                         My PHOTOS of Kendal's Strawberry field

My stuff:

For the June 2013 inquiry:        

The Strawberry field lapwings are an example of wildlife and other hard-to-price free attributes of the Rural-Urban Fringe (RUF) that can be under-valued in this often intensely competed-over land-zone. Here I expand on this point and discuss it on twitter with Alister Scott, Spatial Planning Professor at Birmingham City University (he provides academic help to sorting out conflicts over the hotly-contested RUF - one of his pet subjects):
http://storify.com/henryadamsUK/the-value-of-wildlife-and-hard-to-price-attributes in the RUF.

My viewpoint is that we should integrate the existing wildlife and other hard-to-price attributes of the RUF into plans as assets to those living in and passing through them not as impediments to be ignored and destroyed. A biodiversity of wildlife should be kept within and around the vicinity of residential areas as being a free and zero-carbon contribution to our well-being.

This is not stopping housing development as that can go instead on land of lower wildlife/landscape value. It is not an "either/or" zero-sum game as many councillors have falsely portrayed - for example at an open meeting on green spaces which I attended, where I saw first-hand these councillors using a deceitful "straw man" type of attack on local people trying to protect their green spaces. The local residents found their views being deceitfully mis-represented by the very people supposed to represent them rather than developers, greedy absentee land-owners and a central government who can only see assets in terms of money (for "economic growth" - which means profits to them).

My talk at the inquiry: pdf of text with 'slides':  INQUIRY-MyTalkSLIDES&TEXTreLapwingsStrawberryFieldKendal.pdf    - presented on Wednesday 19th June 2013.

My May 2013 statement submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (this was submitted as part of TOG's statement submission to Planning Inspectorate, by Dennis Reed, TOG Chairman)
http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/LapwingsStrawberryFieldKendal.pdf - all parties had access to this document (and its original version) prior to the inquiry. At the inquiry I was required to voice what's in this submission document - without adding more evidence as that would not give other parties sufficient time to address.

The evening before the inquiry I was given a letter from the developer's consultants envirotech dated 30may13 which aimed to criticize my submission.
page1, page2, page3.
NB: though this letter was dated 30may13 it did not become available to me and other parties until the last possible moment - on day 1 of the inquiry on 18th June (and I didn't receive a copy unil the evening before I had to give my talk on 19th June). I expect this timing was deliberate: so that the Inspector could take away a copy of it for perusal but in the hope that I would have too little time to write a full response in time for the Inspector to take that away with him (the Inspector won't consider statements after the inquiry proceedings).  Also in the hope that I would not have sufficient time to pre-consider the numerous points raised in it before my time on the dias, nor have adequate time to vocally respond to them all (I was only given a brief time for both these).  This meant that the Inspector has not read my write-up as follows:

Questioning to me at the inquiry by the Inspector, Dennis Reed for the Triangle Opposition Group (TOG) and the barrister on behalf of the developer
, with some of my answers.

9jul13: My letter to envirotech presenting them an ultimatum: retract or face the consequences of siding with the developers against the lapwings.

11jul13 Email string (mostly-) to envirotech. Co-Director Hannah Gardner writes: "
We acknowledge receipt of your email. We are taking the contents under advisement." It is strange to use such wording which has a legal association - with ambiguous implication that they may be seeking legal advice as to the contents of my letter, and also with much ambiguity as to their intention. If they are in fact getting legal advice (rather than simply giving consideration to my statements - which is a non-legal but uncommon use of such a term) - why would their first reaction having made a major error of judgement with their pro-developer letter criticizing my  concern for the lapwings, to dig deeper and up the stakes for themselves?
Neither of the 2 Directors has spoken to me over the telephone: their immediate response appears to be to incur legal expenses - if that's what they mean. Makes you wonder what type of people they are to put across such ambiguity. I'll let you be judge!

I'm eager to hear what Hannah Gardner means about "under advisement" - because either way - it's win-win for the lapwings: if Ecosurv retract their letter's position and support the lapwings - that's an obvious win (and loss to the developers), whereas if they don't - there's potential for good publicity for the lapwings (I enjoyed the Inquiry experience - answering questions from the developer's barrister provided bonus opportunities to put forward the lapwing and Strawberry field case).

Bear in mind that envirotech's documents are pro-development of the green gap and go against or try to over-ride my earlier pro-wildlife pro-landscape pro-sustainability pro-health statements which are in "the public domain" e.g. on SLDC website (re planning). Here are some of them:

Back in 2011:

10dec11 Letter from Henry Adams to SLDC Planning in response to LAND AT OXENHOLME ROAD, KENDAL,
including the “Strawberry Field” – a lapwing breeding site, re DEVELOPMENT:  EXTENSION TO TIME CONDITION ON PLANNING PERMISSION SL/2008/1220 (engineering ops re Rugby Club’s plans),  REF. NUMBER: SL/2011/0896

My April 2011 submission to SLDC Planning re land allocations (here as 2 pdfs):

Green Gap & Strawberry field:        The Kendal-Oxenholme Green Gap (R120, ON1, M2M, RN133M) 

Green Gap & Strawberry field (more photos):      R120, ON1, RN133M, M2M: Panorama from The Helm, showing the landscape importance of the Kendal-Oxenholme Green Gap


MY PHOTOS My PHOTOS of Kendal's Strawberry field, Kendal


Documents by ther people/organisations:

MAP: Developer's PROPOSED SITE LAYOUT PLAN (jpeg scan) - referred to at this June 2013 inquiry.  NB: orientation is very skewed from grid North to fit page shape.

's criticism of my submission to the Inspectorate - a letter dated 30may13 written on behalf of the developers: page1, page2, page3.

Envirotech's 'ECOLOGICAL APPRAISAL Oxenholme Road, Kendal, October 2012' (pdf)  Gardner displays on page 1: that envirotech has a Gold Environmental Award from Cumbria Business Evironment Network (BEN). Is this a greenwash award? It certainly appears to be being used as such now in 2013 (even though probably unintentionally?) as regards this case (here I refer to Andrew Gardner's pro-development letter criticizing my points of concern for the lapwings and ignoring the Precautionary Principle). More appropriate here would be a George Osborne [Autumn Statement] Award for efforts to prevent wildlife habitats getting in the way of economic growth (referring to a Chancellors' Autumn Statement referring to planning and the countryside).


Other stuff:

My talk text (without the slides): INQUIRY-MyTalkTEXTreLapwingsStrawberryFieldKendal.pdf

My talk 'slides' (without the spoken text): INQUIRY-MyTalkSLIDESreLapwingsStrawberryFieldKendal.pdf