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Plans for 177 homes in Watton raises fears over stone curlew threat

PUBLISHED: 07:13 20 April 2016

Residents of Mallard Road in Watton are unhappy with the proposed 177 homes that being builts on the site - From from left, Jean Williams and Jo Jacklin with residents from the area. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Residents of Mallard Road in Watton are unhappy with the proposed 177 homes that being builts on the site - From from left, Jean Williams and Jo Jacklin with residents from the area. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2016

A housing campaign group has hit out at plans to build 177 homes which it says will put a rare bird at risk.

What Watton Wants say Tesni Property’s application for outline planning permission for homes on land south of Mallard Road will put the stone curlew at danger.

Half the 8.4 hectare site is within the stone curlew buffer special protection area (SPA).

Jo Jacklin, What Watton Wants member, said the work will endanger the stone curlew.

“My concern is that it’s at the heart of the SPA and the RSPB are objecting, which is part of why it was deferred in January. They are an endangered species and it could stop the good work that has been done to help it recover recently,” she said.

Some 240 letters of objections have been sent by local residents. Concerns include the impact on infrastructure.

Breckland’s planning officers have recommended the plans for approval.

John Beardsall, associate land and development director for Tesni, said a report by Breckland’s officers showed it had addressed ecological concerns.

“We’ve been working with the planning department for 18 months and carried out consultation before the application.

“We feel we have addressed all the ecological concerns and Natural England said the development won’t affect the SPA,” he said.


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