A 40 page ecological survey warning of potential harm to animals such as hedgehogs has been included with a planning application by Reason Homes for 38 bungalows in Wimblington.
The survey, which included looking for signs of Turtle Doves and other protected species on the 1.7ha site at King Street, suggests a series of mitigation works to help ensure minimal harm to the creatures currently living on the site.
These include backfilling trenches at the end of each working day to protect nocturnal creatures falling in and if that is not possible to put ramps into any holes so the animals can escape easily.
Work on felling trees and clearing scrub should be carried out before March and after August to avoid disturbing nesting birds and the survey, completed by Wild Frontier Ecology on behalf of Reason Homes, also suggests that if any protected species are found on the site during construction work should stop and a qualified ecologist should be called immediately.
However, the survey report says there were no signs of protected species and it is unlikely to have any because of the ‘isolation’ of the site, which is largely enclosed by houses.
But animals such as hedgehogs are likely to live on the site and they could suffer an immediate impact once work starts and therefore the report recommends clearing the site from the south working northwards so any animals will be able to move off the site into the adjoining grassland field and small woodland rather than being pushed towards houses,
For every tree removed the report recommends at least one should be replanted to lessen impact on nesting birds. It also suggests that grass should be cut short on the site before work starts to lessen is suitability for creatures such as small mammals and foraging birds.
A planning statement submitted with the application by 3D Planning Ltd points out the site and the development is consistent with the local development plan.
It also says there has been pre-application consultation with Fenland District Council and points out that as a result of those discussions the number of homes has been halved.
It says: “An initial submission was made to 80 homes incorporating land to the north and east and whilst the principle of the submission was accepted the quantum of the development was questioned.
“This submission has addressed this matter and reduced the quantum of the development by over half, to a scale the officer indicated would be regarded as a small village extension. It is therefore requested that planning permission be granted.”