Natural gem is destroyed

I must write to express our deep disappointment at the decision to approve the development of NCH Highbury Park, in spite of the failures to meet a number of planning commitments.

Katie Dawson, of Islington Green Party, who was applauded for her passionate speech opposing the plans, reminded us how local campaigns had saved Gillespie Park and Barnsbury Wood from developers and that these were now much loved community green spaces. Could the same not be done for the ancient grassland at NCH?

Experts confirmed that the site has great ecological value as an example of pre-urban grassland, and as such is very rare in Islington, and indeed London. Had it not been privately owned it would be a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and therefore protected from development. It is now lost for ever. How ironic that in 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, Islington Council and NCH have chosen to destroy this ecologically rich and irreplaceable natural gem. – Caroline Allen, Islington Green Party.