New badger rules raise concerns
2 October 2006 - BBC News
A row is brewing over moves to give badger habitats greater protection
against housing developments in the Highlands.
Officials are putting together a planning guidance note for developers which
makes clear the wild animals will have precedence.
But one councillor has warned that he did not want much-needed housing
stopped by a few badgers.
The guidance will be aimed at speeding up planning applications.
Badgers are protected by law and the new note is being written by council and
Scottish Natural Heritage officials.
One of its points will be that developers must employ badger surveyors to
discover if badger social groups exist in the area earmarked for building work.
There are large badger populations around Inverness and councillor Margaret
Davidson claimed there were now thousands in areas zoned for major housing
She said she feared this would create a whole new industry involving badger
Councillor Bob Wynd also warned the Highlands had already lost the Longman
rubbish tip to protect birds and now a small number of animals could potentially
stop much-needed housing.
Councillors have asked for details on badger densities before the guidance
note is agreed.
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