firm's expansion rejected after discovery of rare newts
Highbridge company's proposed extension has been turned down by
council planners this week due to concerns about Great Crested
Newts living on the site.
Limited is based in Bolton Close on the Isleport Business Park
and has applied for Full Planning Permission to demolish an existing
industrial unit to create a two-storey extension with an additional
276 square metres of floor area.
Somerset County Council's ecology team has raised concerns about
Great Crested Newts - which are a protected species- living on
there is a risk to Great Crested Newts and their resting places
from the proposed development," says the council's ecologist
southern part of the grassed / vegetated area lies within 50 metres
of a pond recorded as supporting the species. According to Natural
England guidelines this part of the site would be a medium to
high risk impact."
Burnham and Highbridge Town Council has given its backing to the
planning application, saying that it would "help employment
prospects in the town", Sedgemoor District Council has this
week turned down the application due to the ecology concerns.
Pearce, group manager, at Sedgemoor, said: "The proposed
extension fails to address the site's ecology and therefore the
proposal is contrary to policy D14 of the Sedgemoor Core Strategy.
The proposal is also contrary to Section 99 of the Government
circular 2005/06 on biodiversity and geological conservation and
Natural England advice which requires that all developments likely
to affect European Protected Species should have surveys carried
out to inform the planning decision."