As part of our core activities, Kent Wildlife Trust seeks to engage proactively in planning and development processes across the County to protect and achieve gains for wildlife. We work with planners, developers and decision-makers to ensure development avoids damage to wildlife and, wherever possible, benefits the natural environment.
To this end, in recent months we have acted in an advisory capacity to Wates at a pre-planning application stage, overseeing the work of other consultants, offering strategic ecological and land management guidance to the client. We are seeking to prevent negative impacts on wildlife and advocate design that benefits wildlife. We are also carrying out an independent survey of the site to better understand the proposals and ensure the integrity of any advice and guidance that we would provide.
Wates compensate Kent Wildlife Trust for their time spent undertaking survey work, advice and guidance and these funds go on to support our work and wildlife projects in Kent.
Kent Wildlife Trust is not a partner in this potential development and has reserved the right to object should it reach the planning application stage and have negative impacts on wildlife. Wates Group is aware of our position and the nature of our involvement. As such, we are displeased with the disingenuous impression of their approach that has been presented by their misrepresentation of our purpose in this instance.
We are in talks with Wates regarding this and will continue our assessment of the next steps for the proposal.