Fence might not protect wildlife

Natural England has shed doubt on a developer’s measure to limit the impact of housing on a woodland wildlife.

The controversial Lindhurst Development is planned for a 169-hectare site on land off the A617 Marr Route.

But nearby residents fear for the plight of rare bird species the Nightjar and the Woodlark, both known to inhabit Harlow Wood, a potentially designated Special Protection Area (SPA) which borders the would-be development.

In a statement printed by the Chad last week a spokesman for the Lindhurst Group said: “A comprehensive package of mitigation measures had been agreed to protect Harlow Wood from casual trespass or damage, including a robust fence.”

But a Natural England spokesman said: “We gave the local planning authority advice to help them determine the planning application.

“This included advice relating to biodiversity impacts and opportunities arising from the proposal.

“We also provided guidance on any effect the development may have on the possible future classification of a Special Protection Area for Woodlark and Nightjar in order to assist the planning authority to make an informed decision.

“This included advising that the effectiveness of barrier fencing was unproven and that it should not be relied upon to limit the impact on the wood.”

Campaigners against the development are currently in the process of applying for a judicial review into the legality of Mansfield District Council’s decision to grant planning permission.