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Badgers block hospital crèche

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9th June 2003 - Eastern Daily Press

Plans to build a new crèche at one of the region's main hospitals have hit a snag – in the shape of badgers.

The hitch was discovered after plans were submitted for a major childcare facility at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

A suitable site had been found at the back of the building and everything was progressing smoothly until the discovery the badgers were already in residence.

Now, the original plans for the 92-place crèche have had to be ditched and a re-think is under way.

Last night, a hospital spokesman said: "We were going to build a crèche at West Suffolk Hospital and the site was chosen to the back of the building.

"But a badger sett was discovered and we were refused planning permission so we are having to think again.

"We are still hoping to provide the facility but are now having to look at alternative sites. I have to say this is the first time I have ever heard of anything quite like this."

Julian Roughton, director of Suffolk Wildlife Trust said: "Obviously it is good to hear they are acknowledging the environmental responsibilities of the site.

"Badger setts are certainly protected by law as part of the planning application they would have to have taken the needs of the badgers into account."

Mr Roughton said badgers could live in suburban environments and often thrived, but their setts were protected.

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