Friends of Lye Valley pledge to protect Warren Meadow from development

The Friends of Lye Valley campaign group have pledged to protect Warren Meadow which lies next to the Lye Valley nature reserve in Oxford after development plans were given the go-ahead.

Friends of Lye Valley secretary Heather Armitage said residents were “bitterly disappointed” after city councillors approved plans to build 10 homes on the meadow east of Warren Crescent.

She added councillors have pledged to “call in” the application, allowing planning officials to review the proposals and give the group more time to voice their concerns.

Ms Armitage said it was vital to protect this fragile habitat, known by residents as Warren Meadow, since it is a rainwater catchment area for springs which go down to the 8,000-year-old Lye Valley Fen.

She added: “Developing could be detrimental for this very rare habitat that is so precious but we don’t know because it would be an experiment.”

Turley Associates first submitted plans to develop 10 three-bed homes near the nature reserve in June 2013 but then submitted amended plans in September.

Oxford City Council’s East area planning committee approved the proposals earlier this month, which include car parking, cycle and bin storage and creation of a public footpath.

The 4.5 hectare site, which dates back to the Ice Age, boasts 20 species of plants on the county’s rare plants registers and relies on rainwater which trickles down from the grassland. More than 750 people have signed the Friends of Lye Valley’s petition calling on the city council to designate the land as local green space, which would protect it.

See ‘Campaigners vow to protect Oxford’s historic Lye Valley nature reserve from housing development plans’, Oxford Mail, 16 February 2016.

Find out more about the Friends of Lye Valley.