NVC survey of moorland near Blackburn (2013)

Sometimes I encounter a site where I just think, wow, the developers must be optimists if they think they are going to get permission here (usually the ones that are going to be really obvious from towns or the main road).  Usually I would say, there’s a way round most objections.  But sometimes I think, are you having a laugh ?!

Not going to say where this particular site is, as they are still pursuing planning, but suffice to say when I got up there I found the entire site, literally, the whole thing, was blanket bog.  Bearing in mind that constructing anything on blanket peat is a horrible idea from a purely ground conditions point of view, this seemed like quite bad news to me, even if the vegetation on top of the peat wasn’t particularly exciting (acres of purple moor-grass, anyone?).  Now, I know that some designs of floating road have been quite successful, but we’re talking about the entire development being on blanket peat.  I really can’t see the planning authority going for that, can you ??

Luckily for me I worked as a sub-consultant to the main ecologist on this scheme so I’ll leave it to them to break the news to the client.

Not one of my better weeks at work, I really do prefer being able to give the client good news :-S

Update January 2014: The planning application was submitted and withdrawn in short order after it emerged that Natural England were taking an interest in the site.  I understand that bird surveys are ongoing and that the client still intends to pursue the site.

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