“The Seething Wells Filter Beds is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, and it’s one of many across the country that needs a change in the law to enable the Council to protect its biodiversity. So we have launched a petition asking Government to ‘Give Councils the power to protect nature reserves’” --- Cllr Liz Green writes on Liberal Democrat Voice
“Current legislation is a mess, involving the Council, Police, Environment Agency and English Heritage. We think the Council should be the single reasonability authority for all nature reserves, including those in private ownership.
“The Seething Wells Filter Beds was a Thames Water facility that they stopped using back in 1992. Since then, nature has come back to the site in abundance. It has bats in the under road tunnels, flora and fauna, London grasslands, insects that need standing water and the birds that feed off them. It is also historically significant as it played an important role in proving cholera was waterborne in the mid-1800s.
“The problem is the site is in private ownership, and despite the Council’s efforts, the owners have no interest in looking after the biodiversity on the site; they are stripping the land. It is clear that they want planning permission for housing (3 applications have already been refused, and appeals dismissed) and will not stop destroying the nature on site until they get it.
“As ward Councillors, we want to protect this site and others like it, but it is clear the existing legislation is a mess as there is no one responsible authority. The Council cannot force the owners to maintain the site for biodiversity protection, so we think Councils should be able to force owners to enter into a Biodiversity Partnership Agreements.
“If you agree, please sign our petition to give Councils the power to protect nature reserves, such as the Seething Wells Filter Beds.”
Article from Liberal Democrat Voice https://www.libdemvoice.org/the-seething-wells-64710.html#comment-532444