|Bird's eye view of the area
|Rectangle marks the new building and red the trees to be removed (black dash is a tree protection boundary)
The site is thought to retain a rare portion of some of Repton's original landscape planting for the Page family at Wembley Park in the 1790s. LINK
As well as the heritage argument campaigners also argued that this was a potential habitat for bats, hedgehogs and other animals as well as a patch of green in an area rapidly being concretised.
The Planning Application argues that most of the trees to be removed are due to their condition, rather than to make way for the building and that removal has been kept to the minimum. Some moving and replanting of trees is proposed as well as new planting.
The application contains all sorts of ideas about the educational use of the protected area of trees and shrubs that will be left. However, as someone who lives nearby and walks past almost daily, I have never seen it being used by pupils since the school opened in 2008 and the woodland looks quite neglected, with tin cans that have been tossed over the fence tangled in the undergrowth.
Habitat preservation and enhancement would be welcome but that should have been done anyway,
Preston Manor School is also seeking new build in order to expand its Sixth Form. The two schools are in competition with Preston Manor following the Ark by building a primary school on site and thus becoming an all-through school. It also converted to academy status. Ark plans to open its Sixth Form in September 2015 and is currently recruiting students.
The full plans can be seen HERE The application will be decided no earlier than February 10th. Planning Officer firstname.lastname@example.org