endangered species

Objections lodged over planned Ashdene housing site

The planning application that expects to build a housing site in Ashdene, in the Rochdale Borough Council, composed by 16 parking spaces for cars and four detached houses has not been very welcomed among the local citizens.

The Rochdale Borough Council has received over 100 letters, showing the disconformity of citizens towards this planning application. The reason for such a generalized opposition to the projects resides in the intention of carrying it out on a land which serves as a habitat for many animal species and plants.

Together with the objection letters, detractors have handed out an arboricultural survey, a protected species report and a habitat survey. Not being this enough, a Tree Preservation Order protects the land, issued by a local planning authority to protect natural environments, especially certain trees or groups of trees.

Some reports have been carried out to check the environmental viability of the project, especially after previous Japanese knotweed identification‌ had taken place.

Apart from the reports already mentioned in this article, a protected species report has also been handed out. The report shows little to no activity of endangered species in the area. The species that concerned most the experts were, mainly, bats and badgers.

Bats presence, irrelevant
After a meticulous survey carried out in the area, experts have come to the conclusion that there is no presence of bats on the land (not emerging or entering). Moreover, the land has been considered to have only moderate potential to host roosting bats during the time the survey was carried out.

Bat activity has reported being from low to moderate. Experts have only found some specimens of the common variety “pipistrelle”, who is thought to be traveling from the south, directly to the north. Experts have also spotted one bad dropping in one shed, which gives evidence that these sheds are not used as a permanent roosting place, but on the contrary, they are only used occasionally.

No sign of badgers on the land
Regarding the presence of badgers, the report has shown no evidence of their presence in the area. The only proof of the badger presence in this area was the dead body of a badger found 10 years ago beneath a shed and the presence of some abandoned sheds. This only proves that this land served as home to these animals in the recent past, but enough time has passed to be safe to state that there are no badgers in this area.

A Great Crested Newt spotted
The great crested newt is, among the three-existing species of newts, the largest one. These animals can grow up to 17cm in length. The reason why they are called “crested” is that male adults grow a jagged crest with goes from their head to the tip of their tail.  These animals live across the lowland of Great Britain. They are internationally protected, and the number of specimens has considerably decreased at a high rate. One of these specimens has been spotted in the area where the 16 detached houses project is to take place.

More exactly, it has been spotted 2km from the construction area, near two ponds, which have been dismissed as a potential breeding place. Moreover, apart from this great crested newt specimen, experts have also found evidence of an invasive Japanese knotweed, which has to be removed by law.