My Tiny Thoughts

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Dormice population halts housing plans


 

Dormice population halts housing plans

The site for new housing estate was rejected after local planning chiefs said that pet cats might eat dormice in a nearby woods.

 

Planning officials said cats could end up prowling Foal Hurst Wood and  devastate the dormouse population

Planning officials said cats could end up prowling Foal Hurst Wood and devastate the dormouse population Photo: SIMON CZAPP / SOLENT

Town councillors in Paddock Wood, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent, voted down a proposed site for 600 new homes after deciding it was ‘too dangerous’ for the protected creatures.

The native Hazel dormouse, which can hibernate for up to six months, is an endangered species in Britain and councillors were worried that a new housing estate would mean scores of hungry pet cats arriving in the area.

They said that the cats would end up prowling the nearby 40-acre Foal Hurst Wood and could devastate the dormouse population.

Angry scenes followed at meeting of the Paddock Wood Town Council last week after Independent councillor Ron Goodman said the council was putting the safety of rodents ahead of road safety concerns of children living on the planned new estate.

Labour councillor Ray Moon rejected the charge, saying the council had a ‘responsibility to maintain the wood for future generations’ and that ‘having domestic cats living nearby would be disastrous for small mammals’.

He told the meeting: "The Foal Hurst Wood option offers the most harm to the environment.

"It is an ancient woodland, it has dormice, it offers so many different things to that area.

"I’m willing to stand up and defend the dormice of Foal Hurst Wood on the basis that our schoolchildren want to see our wildlife thriving.

"I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up and say ‘I have never seen a dormouse, what is a dormouse?’"

Cllr Goodman, however, said plans for the new homes should focus on the road safety of children living on the new estate, not the safety of dormice.

He said: "You’re trying to make a decision based on what’s good for dormice.

"It’s all nonsense. It’s crazy."

Cllr Goodman said that ‘the safety of children’ should take precedence over ‘the safety of dormice’ when considering where the new homes would be built.

"People’s lives are worth more than those of dormice," said Cllr Goodman.

The site, however, was rejected by the town council after seven councillors voted it the ‘least favoured option’ of three proposed sites, with one vote against and two abstentions.

Local Amy Little, 32, said: "How they can get in such a tizzy about dormice is ridiculous.

"I know they are protected, but how can anyone make a rational decision if they are constantly worried about which animals might fall victim to cats?

"The logical conclusion of all this arguing is that it would be better to ban cats altogether as they eat all manner of birds and small mammals, and in the end nobody can stop them."

Earlier this year it was revealed that Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in South Wales spent a staggering £190,000 on three 20ft-high road bridges for dormice to stop them being flattened by cars.

Published: 9:54AM BST 27 Sep 2010 by the: www.telegraph.co.uk

Dormice population halts housing plans – Telegraph

Advertisements

September 27, 2010 - Posted by | Animals, Entertainement, nature, People

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: