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Erith Quarry site to be turned into houses

PUBLISHED: 15:40 01 April 2015 | UPDATED: 15:40 01 April 2015

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More than three-quarters of important wildlife site to be developed

ONE of most Bexley’s most important wildlife sites is to be decimated after the council agreed to turn it into houses.

Three quarters of the former Erith Quarry site is to be razed after the planning committee unanimously voted to allow 600 homes and a school to be built.

More than 18 hectares of important wildlife habitat is to be lost from the site, which has been as a Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation for more than 20 years.

London Wildlife Trust says the development will damage one of Bexley’s most important reptile populations - slow-worm, grass snake and common lizard are all found on the site – and result in the loss of important breeding habitats for a number of nationally declining bird species, including dunnock, common whitethroat, song thrush and linnet. It says it expects linnet to disappear from the site entirely.

Tony Wileman, conservation ecologist with London Wildlife Trust, said: “We are hugely disappointed at the scale of this loss.

“This is a designated wildlife site and the decision seems to fly in the face of the council’s own policy targets for nature conservation, and sets a worrying precedent for other wildlife sites in London.”

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