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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

District Council votes to allow habitat of 11 species of bat in East Budleigh to be demolished

We need to get real about protecting biodiversity:
Futures Forum: Countering mass extinction: we need a Green New Deal plus action on biodiversity

Indeed, local councillors have been keen to help wildlife in our own backyard:
Futures Forum: East Budleigh objects to application to demolish habitat of 11 species of bat
Futures Forum: District Council defers decision on application to demolish habitat of 11 species of bat >

However, last week, the planning committee of the District Council decided to allow the demolition of the bat habitat in East Budleigh:
Agenda for Development Management Committee on Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 10.00 am - East Devon

The BBC reports: 

Barn to be knocked down despite bat concerns


Posted at 14:35 1 May14:35 1 May

Daniel Clark
Local Democracy Reporting Service

A "licence to kill" has been granted, it was claimed, after plans to knock down a barn known to be home to rare and protected bats were approved.

Councillors voted by eight votes to five on Tuesday morning to give the go-ahead to demolish a barn in East Budleigh, known as The Pound, and for it to be replaced with a house.

A new bat barn will be built in the garden as mitigation and Clinton Devon Estates have said the new building will provide conditions "more suitable" for bats, including a dedicated loft area and ground floor with free flight access for the animals.

But concerns have been raised by ecological campaigners about the risk it would pose to the rare bats, saying the demolition of the barn could see them lose their homes and die.

BBC Devon & Cornwall Live: 1 May - BBC News
Bats in East Budleigh: “licence to kill” say ecological campaigners | East Devon Watch

A local resident has written to “Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - as reported in the East Devon Watch blog: 

EAST DEVON RESIDENT CALLS OUT TORY GOVERNMENT ON ENVIRONMENT AND BATS

2 MAY 2019

...

The document “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment” contains enough positive ideology to satisfy most environmental campaigners. The document is elegantly designed and its content has been carefully thought out. It covers a huge range of subjects that I feel very strongly about: sustainable land use, enhancing the beauty and environmental worth of landscapes, and protection of wildlife.

The issue is the document is a vision and not legislation. It a collection of really good ideas but it is not law. When there is a conflict between potential industrial development, the provision of housing, and the environment, the ideals will get thrown into the river like toxic waste. If there is a chance for profit to be made councils will always find ways to get around even the most stringent protections. Sadly the “Green Future” is not seen as a moral compass for development it is just viewed as a bit of a nuisance. The proposed development on the pound in East Budleigh is a classic example. It clearly goes against the ideals expressed in the 25 year plan and the protection afforded to endangered species by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as Amended)

The proposed development ( 18/1464/FUL. ) involves demolition of a barn (dating back to the 17th century) containing 11 species of bats (Including Grey Long eared bats, and Greater Horseshoe bats), Dormouse habitat destruction, and a Badger set relocation. It has caused a local outcry, the involvement of Sir David Attenborough, Devon Wildlife Trust, features on Radio Devon and BBC Spotlight.

When the development was put to the EDDC Development Management Committee the council chamber was packed with objectors. The plans were still passed paving the way for the a new entrance to be put through a well loved and iconic local amenity space and the destruction of habitat for several endangered species. Councillors were not only out of step with the electorate but also showed a total disregard for Michael Gove’s twenty five year Environmental Plan and environmental protection legislation. The whole community as well a host of endangered species in East Budleigh will lose out just so that one house can be developed. Yet another totally unbalanced decision that will only benefit a local wealthy landowner by the Conservative lead East Devon District Council.

If you would like to see the site in order to draw your own conclusions I would love to be your host. If you need more background information do not hesitate to contact me.


East Devon resident calls out Tory government on environment and bats | East Devon Watch
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