ELF was approached by a local resident concerned over inadequate mitigation measures being proposed on a site which contains a 10 year old badger sett. Hastings Borough Council has received an application to build an 80 bed care home and car park on the site – with the car park over the badger sett. It has been proposed to transfer the badgers and build an artificial sett but the proposal has very limited foraging space.
ELF approached Dr John Feltwell, a long standing ELF member and wildlife expert.
Badgers are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the law protects an active sett. An active sett is one that has been in use during the last 12 months, as this one has. John was clear from the application, that the measures being proposed are inadequate and that the permanent removal of the foraging area is a key omission and a material consideration.
The omission of a foraging area, as proposed is against “all nature conservation principles” he said.
“The removal of many of the trees decreases the biodiversity value of the site. There is no integrated biodiversity plan, covering all animal groups. There is no ecological gain, or compensation, only an overall ecological loss. This is counter to local and national policies.”
We were extremely grateful to John for his advice which we were able to pass on to the enquirer. It is by tapping into the expertise of the network on matters such as this, that ELF is able to provide real substance to a planning objection.