Council will fight to build on nightingales' nesting ground
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Thursday 14 March 2013
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".
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