Sunday, 25 May 2014

Top Lodge, Fineshade


Barrie Galpin (BTO rep for the county), has kindly forwarded details of a Planning Application for Fineshade Top Lodge which if successful is likely to have an impact on the local wildlife in this section of the Rockingham Forest complex. As many will know, this area is one of the few available to us in the county where reptiles such as Adder and Common Lizard thrive.  There are also several species of orchid, including one rare variety, which grow within a couple of hundred metres of this site.

I think most local naturalists would agree that the current visitor numbers, usage of the current Caravan Club site and the shop complex does not adversely affect the diverse and sensitive wildlife that Top Lodge and the adjacent land is renown for.  However, the development of this site as below-indicated is likely to create a local ecological collapse of a number of sensitive and fragile species which appear not to be replicated anywhere else in Northamptonshire.

Please read on and respond as you feel appropriate...

Urgent - another plan to develop Top Lodge, Fineshade

Since the end of the last year we've been aware that the Forestry Commission have been working on a plan to build a Forest Holidays site in 70 acres of  what's almost certainly ancient woodland here. However, last week a planning application has been submitted for another, completely different, development here. This will not affect the woods directly but will have a big impact on Top Lodge.

The application is for a "Change of use" of the privately owned field immediately in front of the Top Lodge offices and Visitor Centre. See picture attached. It is a proposal for:

"Change of use to lodge camping facility including 30 'glamping' pods, car park, wardens residence, reception, welfare building and associated works."

The entrance and two main buildings will be located close to the Whitebeam tree on the left of the picture.

The reference number for the application is 14/00195/FUL and it can be found online at http// applications
or use the direct address:

You will find the Design and Access Statement, Ecological Survey and maps in the External Documents.

Comments can be made online, or very simply emailed to
Or by letter to: 
Planning comments, 
East Northamptonshire Council, 
Cedar Drive, 
Thrapston NN14 4LZ. 

All comments must include your name and address and the reference 14/00195/FULThe consultation period ends on 2nd June

For more information about responding to this planning application, or to be kept informed of further developments please send an email to

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