DEVELOPERS have ripped up more hedgerow than allowed by planning permission at a controversial housing site, Rugby Borough Council (RBC) has confirmed.
David Wilson Homes and Gallagher Estates have been told to stop work at their site in Ashlawn Road after hedges and trees were removed to create two access points on fields north of the road between the water tower and Sainsbury’s.
An RBC spokesman said: “More hedgerow has been removed than was indicated in the planning application.
“The developer has not provided a Construction Environment Management Plan as required as a condition of the original planning permission.
“We have instructed the developer not to carry out any further work until they have submitted a Construction Environment Management Plan for approval and explained how they will compensate for the loss of additional hedgerow.”
He added that there was no evidence nesting birds were disturbed, and no criminal offence had been committed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
The Council’s Planning Enforcement Team and Legal Department are now working ‘to take appropriate action’.
‘Horrified’ and ‘heartbroken’ residents slammed the developers when the hedges were removed last week, prompting RBC and Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to inspect the site.
And Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Director of Living Landscapes Ian Jelley told The Observer: “Planning laws set out clearly the steps which should be taken to protect wildlife. If the correct process has not been followed then enforcement action should be taken.”
David Wilson Homes and Gallagher Estates initial planning application to build 860 homes, a primary school and two new roads was rejected by RBC in February 2016 on the grounds it would increase traffic and pollution in the area, and would not provide the infrastructure to mitigate this.
But the developers’ appeal against that decision, in which they ‘strongly disputed’ the council’s findings and argued “residual impacts cannot be described as adverse or severe”, was upheld by the Government in July 2017.
David Wilson Homes has been contacted for comment.