Fish Legal has objected to the Maidstone Draft Local Plan because of the inappropriate ear-marking of rural land next to the ancient village of Lenham in Kent for 5,000 new homes as part of the Heathlands Garden Settlement. Fish Legal says that the Plan doesn’t properly consider the environmental impact especially on fish and protected species and habitats in the River Stour downstream of the site.
The draft plan will be sent to the planning inspector who will decide whether the plan can be accepted.
The river holds stocks of wild brown trout and sea trout and White Clawed crayfish which are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulation (2017).
These species are sensitive to pollution and Fish Legal believes that the considerations relating to the impact of the River Stour cannot be left to the planning application stage.
Fish Legal has written to Maidstone Borough Council to object to the Draft Plan and expressing the concerns of its members the Ford Mill Fishery, Upper Stour Syndicate, the Stour Fishery Association, the Tonford Fishing Club and the Canterbury and District Angling Association. The Fish Legal members, who control the fishing downstream of the development site, fear there are real risks of environmental harm and that these risks are not being sufficiently considered.