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‘Eco friendly’ Forest Holidays breached bird nesting season building restrictions at new Thorpe Woodlands site in Harling

Thorpe Woodlands, Norfolk. Forest Holidays new site under constrauction at Thorpe Woodlands. ANL-140521-131513001

Thorpe Woodlands, Norfolk. Forest Holidays new site under constrauction at Thorpe Woodlands. ANL-140521-131513001

A holiday company which claims to be eco-friendly breached terms of its planning permission which sought to protect rare bird species by preventing building works during the nesting season.

Forest Holidays has completed and opened its development of 70 luxury woodland cabins at Thorpe Woodlands, in West Harling Road, Harling.

But in finishing the works at the start of May it breached several conditions of the planning permission, including building in a bird nesting season, designated as being between April and August.

The breach happened in April this year.

The site is partly within the Breckland Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the Breckland Special Protection Area (SPA), indicating its ecological importance.

Natural England (NE) also said no construction should take place from April to August, with concerns about the impacts on nesting woodlark.

Breckland Council said it was aware of the breaches. A spokesman said: “The Council is aware that some conditions have been breached during the progress of the development.

Our approach, consistent with the regulatory framework, has been one of seeking to work with all parties (including the Environment Agency and NE), including the developers, in order to seek to resolve matters as quickly and effectively as possible.”

The spokesman said the council would not hesitate to take enforcement action, if it became necessary.

“This collaborative approach has resulted in minimising the potential for harm to be caused to wildlife, including birds,” she said.

Natural England said it had advised Breckland Council to undertake a bird survey if they were sufficiently concerned.

In a statement Forest Holidays said the company had worked closely with Breckland during development. They stated they have many ongoing “ecological commitments” as part of the planning approval and were managing the site for the “protection of the environment, both now and in the future”.

 

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