Developers given ultimatum to explain how they will make up for removing hedgerows without permission - The Rugby Observer

Developers given ultimatum to explain how they will make up for removing hedgerows without permission

Andy Morris 22nd May, 2019 Updated: 22nd May, 2019   0

THE DEVELOPERS who breached conditions of planning permission by ripping up hedgerows at a housing site in Ashlawn Road have been given 28 days to explain how they will make up for their blunder.

Rugby Borough Council (RBC) served a Breach of Condition Notice on David Wilson Homes and Gallagher Estates today (Wednesday May 22), giving them 28 days to provide a Construction Environment Management Plan – a condition of planning permission – and outline how they intend to mitigate the loss of hedgerow.

The developers were told to stop work at the site after RBC confirmed they removed more hedgerow than allowed, as The Observer exclusively revealed last week.

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council added: “Having considered the available evidence it doesn’t appear that removal of the hedgerows was a criminal offence and there is no evidence that nesting birds were disturbed.”

The developers, who had approval to cut down some hedges and trees to create two entrances to the site, explained they had submitted an amendment requesting permission to remove more to make way for a cycleway and a water drainage channel.

A spokesperson for David Wilson Homes East Midlands said: “Unfortunately the work was undertaken before the amended plan had been submitted and approved, and for that we are very sorry.

“No wildlife was harmed during the removal of the hedge and no nesting birds were found by our consultant ecologist who carried out a full investigation before work commenced.”

They said they would plant “extensive new hedgerows” to “mitigate for the hedge losses during construction”.

Complaints from residents prompted RBC and Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to inspect the site when the hedges were removed two weeks ago.

A WCC spokesperson said: “We have raised our concerns with Rugby Borough Council and have made recommendations to make sure there is sufficient compensatory planting for the replacement of the hedgerows within the detailed landscape plans.”

An Environment Agency spokesperson said the issue didn’t come under their remit as it was a matter between the developers and the council.

The Department for Food and Rural Affairs, the parent agency of Natural England, has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

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