BADGERS HALT SITE CLEARANCE WORKS ON HOUSING DEVELOPMENT:
CONCERNS RAISED OVER ANIMALS’ HABITAT
AWILDLIFE-LOVING pensioner and her neighbours have won a temporary reprieve for badgers threatened by a housing development.
Nesta Edwards, 79, was distraught when workmen began clearance work on land at Llaingoch, a village on the outskirts of Holyhead, Anglesey.
Every night she leaves plates of dog food out for local badgers and knows many of them by sight.
She is worried the mammals – a protected species – would be driven away if houses were built on land occupied by their setts.
Now, following intervention by Anglesey councillor Bob Llewelyn Jones, the local authority has advised the developer of its concerns and all work has stopped.
Mrs Edwards was delighted. “Most nights, seven or eight badgers go around to different houses as they know food has been left out for them. Last night only two came to my house. I put plates of dog food out every night. It costs me £10 a week to feed them but I love wildlife – we also get foxes coming here.
“I remember playing on that land as a girl and it would be such a shame to see the wildlife disturbed.
“There’s not enough green belt land left as it is.
“If the work restarts, the villagers will do what they can to stop the destruction.”
Planning consent to build 21 affordable houses was originally granted to developer Watkin Jones in 2006. It is believed the site was subsequently sold on to another developer.
An Anglesey Council spokesman said conditions attached to the 2006 planning consent had required mitigation work to safeguard protected species, including badgers, during construction.
He said any work adversely affecting badger setts, up to a distance of 30m from them, requires a licence from Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
“We have moved quickly to advise the developer of our concerns regarding site clearance works being carried out,” he said. “We have been informed that work has now stopped.
“We have strongly advised that this should remain the case until there has been an update visit by an ecologist.
“A fresh ecology report should be used to inform the developer’s approach.
“Works should only restart when this has been done, and any licence requirement from NRW have been met.”
Cllr Jones, who represents the Caergybi ward, congratulated the council for its swift response.
Some willow trees have been felled but he hopes the site will continue to function as a green corridor for wildlife.
He added: “The site is bordered by houses and has a stream running through it which encourages wildlife to move around.
“Given the time that has elapsed since planning consent was originally granted, it’s right that a further environmental assessment is carried out before any clearance work goes ahead.”