In relation to the planning application for the redevelopment of the lands west of Pairc na Coille retirement village in the townland of Drumbiggle, I would like to make the following observations in relation to the Natura Impact Statement produced by MKO on behalf of the applicant, Leadlane Ltd. Inconsistencies appear through-out the document but I would like to point out specifically the complete lack of data in respect of pollinators and their habitat in the ecological impact assessment.
A walkover survey of the site took place on 24th May 2021 led by MKO ecologist Olivia O’ Gorman. This survey “was designed to detect the presence, or likely presence of a range of protected habitats and species” but was limited by access to certain areas of the site. Later on in the year, an arboricultural report was produced by Arbor-Care Ltd on 14th Oct, also as part of the Natura Impact Statement which concluded that “…the arboricultural impact of the proposed development on the site will be high, as the majority of the vegetation on the site will be removed to facilitate the development.” This very definitive conclusion is in stark contrast with some of the observations made by MKO following the walkover survey which seem to lack basic realism.
In the walkover survey report published by MKO, the area is described as having a distinct canopy, under-story, and ground layers. It goes on to detail twenty-seven species of Flora that support pollinators, specifically Butterflies and Bees. However, the report fails to mention the words Butterfly or Bee even once. The Bee and Butterfly friendly Flora recorded on site are as follows:
- Dog rose
- Tufted Vetch
- Blue bell
- Hogweed (bees)
- Cowslip (bees)
- Nettle (butterly)
- Lesser celandine (of particular importance to Queen bee after hibernation)
- Water figwort
- Herb Robert
- Yellow iris
- Wood anemone (bees)
- Dog violet
- Germander speedwell
- Wild strawberry (especially wild bees)
- Wood avens (bees)
- Butterfly Bush
The lands are described in the report as being “densely vegetated with scrub vegetation consisting of Hawthorn, Willow, Bramble, Nettle” and “dense immature woodland consisting of ash, alder, and sycamore, and clusters of dense hawthorn with a ground storey comprised of areas of boulders covered within moss and plant species.” The immature woodland in question will be destroyed to facilitate this new development, therefore important pollinator habitats consisting of the plant species listed above will be wiped out forever.
The walk-over survey on 24th May 2021 was limited as some of the vegetation was so dense that it was impenetrable. How can MKO ascertain that no E.U Annex II protected Flora or Fauna are present within the site? More time and resources need to be allocated for the completion of this survey as was the case with the dusk and dawn Bat survey. Zero lesser horseshoes Bats were recorded during a dusk and dawn survey carried out by MKO but were recorded by the static detectors in the 19 day bat survey that followed. A one-day walkover survey of the site does not give a full picture.
The local authority here is failing the people of Ennis. 10.5 acres of habitat within a stone throw of Ennis town. And the local authority has not done any report on this vital piece of land. So it would seem. Instead, relying on the developer,
Dan McMahon. Previously from Ennis Town.
Jan 21 2022
Clares Biodiversity plan is well written, what does it mean in the context of this site. Is this site somehow exempt from the reccomendations in the plan
I know this area well. A walkover of the site was not possible it is simply too overgrown,
The area needs to be accessed properly. It seems established that Lesser horseshoe bats forage here. Sightings of Barn owls by several residents locally, and badgers are all protected species. No reliable assessments exist as yet The local authority has a legal responsibility under Irish law and European Directives to make sure the species named above are protected.
The owner of the site is doing reports so he can develop it and put in as many housing units as possible. Where else would his agents put Bat detectors but in areas where the bats won’t be detected, a bit keen under lamposts. Fair play to the lady that walked through the briars and heavy undergrowth, I don’t think anyone else would have achieved it, knowing this area well and living close by. It will be interesting to see what Clare County Council makes of it all.
The optics would not be good. The local authority if they grant any of this will have got it badly wrong. They certainly will not be winning any awards as a local authority
Ennis is a growing town. This green area is needed for the town’s wildlife to live. If it is decided to destroy it. It would be a very bad decision by the local authority and for the town
Many years ago before the bust in 2007 Clare county council did me a great favour by refusing planning permission for a new house in Tulla, because a hedge would have to be removed. That is their planning policy, so they are not going to grant this. If they do a lot of people should be entitled to compensation.
I can gather from this website that reports on this planning are not available. By law this shouldn’t be allowed. If they aren’t available why not. ?. Could it be the case that proper procedures didn’t take place here. I also gather that a walk through inspection by an ecologist was done when in fact that would have been impossible. Was it a case here that planners and developers did a quick botch job?. I mean we are talking here of nearly 11 acres of woodland. If proper reports were done this area wouldn’t be even considered for housing.
I am a farmer in East clare and today the 28th of February is the deadline for cutting hedges. Am I happy about this?. Yes because now is the time when birds start thinking about nesting. I am a nature lover and being a farmer am always close to it. My daughter brought this website to my attention and congrats to all involved in creating it. I lt made me realise how I am surrounded by my own small habitat. I watch the birds collecting for their nests. Some works of art when they are finished. I leave nettles uncut for the caterpillars. These in turn form into beautiful butterflies. My grandchildren enjoy watching these in the summer when they throng to the flower garden. I see bats at night swishing by like fork lightning when I’m out tending to the cattle. I leave piles of leaves at the end of my garden in autumn so that a hedgehog can hibernate in the winter. So this nearly 11 acres is magnified a thousand times over compared to my area. Can you imagine all the activity that goes on there. It would be a disgrace to destroy it. Surely all the concerned people and nature lovers will get the right outcome here. Paddy.
The optics for Ennis and for Ireland, destroying the plant life trees and wildlife which has now become a high profile piece of land would do an awful lot more harm than good.
This area needs to be preserved at all costs. This area is unique for the town, as being the only unspoilt, letting nature do what it does best when it is left alone area. The area needs to be rezoned and preserved.