Council will fight to build on nightingales' nesting ground

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The Independent Online

The case of a major new housing development being threatened by a population of nightingales, reported in The Independent on Thursday, is to become a legal battle.

Medway District Council in Kent is to challenge the decision by Natural England, the Government's wildlife agency, to declare the site for 5,000 proposed new homes a protected area because of nightingales nesting there.

On Wednesday Natural England announced that Lodge Hill near Chattenden in Kent, a disused army site, had been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because its population of more than 80 nightingales makes it the best breeding site in Britain for the declining species.

Medway Councillor Jane Chitty said the brownfield site was "key to our core development plan in providing homes and services for our expanding local population".