SLINC (Site of Local Interest for Nature Conservation)
The site was approved as a SLINC at a Dudley Council Cabinet
Meeting on 22nd September 2022
Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC’s) and Sites of Local
Importance for Nature Conservation (SLINC’s) are designations identified
in Dudley Council’s adopted Dudley Borough Development Strategy 2017
(DBDS, 2017) and form part of the Borough’s environmental infrastructure.
Environment infrastructure also includes green space, community parks,
canal corridors, and Local Nature Reserves (LNRs). Incorporating
environmental infrastructure principles into Local Plan documents will help
meet the existing adopted Black Country Core Strategy 2011 vision for
SLINCs and SINCs do not receive statutory protection but are protected
from harm by local policy set out in the Dudley Borough Development
Strategy, (DBDS, 2017), the existing adopted Black Country Core Strategy
(BCCS, 2011) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, 2019).
Therefore, they are crucial in maintaining and enhancing the Borough’s
environmental infrastructure and ecological habitats.
Other sites that support important wildlife habitat and geological features,
form links between protected sites, and are part of the overall network
supporting biodiversity are identified as SLINCs. SLINCs are of
significance at the Ward to Borough level and frequently form important
links between other designated nature conservation sites. Examples of
SLINCs that are important linear features are canals and watercourses.
It is important that there is a robust, accurate, up-to-date, and defendable
evidence base in place in relation to the nature conservation habitat
quality, and ecological condition of both existing designated nature
conservation sites and those areas of green space which currently have
no designated nature conservation value in Dudley Council’s adopted
Local Plan – DBDS 2017 but may have potential to provide important
habitats for wildlife and could therefore be upgraded to SLINCs or SINCs.
For these reasons several sites have been subject to an ecological survey
by independent suitably qualified ecologists so the Council can ensure
that its records and information on the condition and habitat quality of sites
is kept up-to-date, and accurate. This is in line with the National Planning
Policy Framework (NPPF) 2021 and Dudley Council’s Nature
Conservation Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) 2016.
All the proposals for new designations on the sites included in this report
have been endorsed by the Birmingham and Black Country Local Sites
Partnership (LSP) which is advisory body made up of ecologists and local
representatives to ensure that site selection and designation is constant
across the area and that sites are meeting the relevant criteria to be
designated as a SINC or SLINC.
Clockfields (Culverhouse Drive) Stourbridge
This site was surveyed because of a planning application being submitted
(P21/0006) to develop 3 dwellings on the western part of the site as seen
on plan 1 in Appendix 1. This site is currently denoted as a Potential Site
of Interest (PSI), a site which subject to survey could have ecological
value and be designated as a nature conservation site.
The site comprises planted woodland trees which were planted in 2001 as
part of Black Country Urban Forest Program and open areas of neutral
grassland. Due to the site’s location adjacent to Stourbridge Canal, it is
likely to be used by foraging and commuting bats. The site lies adjacent
to the Stourbridge Canal and other areas of woodland in an otherwise
residential setting, and it is therefore likely to act as an important
commuting route in the local ecological network, supporting ecological
permeability through the surrounding landscape. The site is also identified
as an ‘ecological linking area’ as part of the Nature Improvement Area