• SongBird Survival

Developer pays £430,000 to rehome Cirl Buntings

Councillors have approved plans for a new housing estate in Devon, which include the developer paying more than £430,000 to create an alternative home for Cirl Buntings.

Torbay Council's planning committee voted in favour of the detailed plans for 187 homes on a site on the edge of Paignton at Yannon's Farm, which already had outline permission.

As part of the scheme, developer Barratt Homes is set to pay £437,500 to provide an alternative breeding habitat for five pairs of Cirl Bunting, a species once common in the south of England but now found almost exclusively in south Devon.

A 2.5-hectare area of open land to the south of the housing site will provide habitat for another pair of the birds, it is anticipated. The developer will need to contribute towards monitoring the land for 25 years.

A decision on the detailed application was put off by councillors in November until further information on issues, including the impact on wildlife, became available.

Councillors heard the developer had reduced the number of proposed homes by two since November to create an extra 10m-wide buffer zone between fields on the western edge of the site, and there was a new corridor on the eastern side, both providing habitat for Greater Horseshoe Bats.

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