Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And The Homeless Issue Spreads

London City Airport are not content to make residents continue to live in unfit housing, or remain homeless by recommending Newham et al to not build thousands of homes.....but they are now also flexing their aggressive muscles into Sandmartin territory.

LCA can have a say on a lot of activities and development within a 13 km radius of the airport - as a Newham official stated "they are controlling the environment". That is a thought to take with you.

We were alerted to LCA's murky interference into our environment just a week ago. On the site of Pura Foods Ltd, Orchard Place, Leamouth North Peninsula an application was submitted (PA/06/00748/LBTH) by Clearstorm to the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation to carry out demolition and build a residential, business area with school etc. Landscaping along the river walkway is planned as were nests for the sandmartins.

Sand martins are the smallest European hirundines (martins and swallows), with dark brown upper parts and dark under wings contrasting with otherwise pale under parts divided by a distinctive dark chest bar. Agile fliers, feeding mainly over water, they will perch on overhead wires or branches. They are gregarious in the breeding season and winter. Over the past 50 years the European population has crashed on two occasions as a result of drought in the birds' African wintering grounds.

But the sandmartins will be finding themselves short of homes thanks to London City Airport and they really do have the odds stacked against them with neighbours like them. LCA have stomped their feet, thrown the toys out of their prams and demanded that only 11 boxes be made available for sandmartins, and forget about seeing any herons - because LCA have also told LTGDC they don't want any heron polls for the birds to perch on.

For what reason?? The Civil Aviation Authority has guidelines on bird management and safety around airports in the 13km radius. Some birds, such as gulls and waders are deemed as 'high strike' risk to planes - but Sandmartins are not and this aggressive interpretation of the CAA guidance has angered organisations and residents. No doubt this will mean a much closer eye will be kept on their activities from now on.

LCA certainly know how to assist us in building the objectors lists!