Redrow Homes are planning to remove the hedge along Western Road, in Silver End to enable cars to have access to its planned development of 350 homes. However, Local councillor wants to block removal of the hedge which is home to bat population. James Abbott indicated that the developer should review his request that states that no protected species live within the hedge in spite of the hedge being home to the flying creatures.
Furthermore, Cllr Abbott indicated that he counted about 19 passing bats during the evening in a space of 30 minutes. He further indicated that the plan to remove the hedge is completely outrageous and merely a developer paying a consultant to submit a survey that suits their interests. Cllr went further to indicate that it is unacceptable considering the fact that Redrow Homes held two public exhibitions in the village hall and residents have overtime brought the issue of the hedge without any concrete response.
According to Cllr, it is a fact that they have the planning permission to develop 350 homes along Western Road; however, our battle is for them to perform their duty in the best sensitive means and stopping them from ripping everything out from its default position. Every kind of bat, including their resting and breeding sites, are backed by law and requires permission from Natural England especially if damaging or disturbing their habitations is inevitable. A survey conducted by an expert ecological surveyor and submitted to Braintree Council indicated that the plan to remove the hedge is not adequate.
It may take years to plant a replacement that will mature to the same level as the hedgerow is now. Mr. Abbott said deliberations are ongoing concerning carrying out a professional survey of the hedge, funded by the residents.
The Head of Planning at Redrow Eastern, Chris Gatland that the desire to remove the hedge was acknowledged in March 2017 by a government Planning inspector during when the planning permission was giving for the development of the location. He said Redrow is dedicated as a responsible developer to guaranteeing that the removal of the hedge will be appropriately moderated. According to him, there is no evidence to show that the hedgerow surrounds any tree with possible bat perch features. Finally, Mr. Gatland indicated that the ecologist’s survey conducted during the summer of 2018 didn’t detect the usage of this hedge by rare or notable bat species.
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