More Power to the Badgers!!
The Linlithgow Gazette has reported that a family of badgers will cause difficulty to a recently passed planning application on Riccarton Road. The Council's local plan does designate that this land is an open space; it is also bordered by Manse Road to the East and Laverlock Park to the North.
The plan was to build one four-bedroom house on the space, with the possibility of four more later. However, despite 37 objections that this contravened the local plan the Council passed the application last month. Well it looks like the Badgers have beaten them to it.
Under the Badgers Act 1992, Scottish Natural Heritage can grant a license for the safe removal if it is a newly-formed sett. However, if the sett is found to be well-established it will cause major headaches for a developer. SNH species group manager Chris Sydes said: 'The developer would have to apply to us for a licence to close and move the sett'.
I actually saw a badger in the area crossing Friars Way a couple of years ago while I was out campaigning for the 2003 council election in Preston Ward for Patricia Chapman; maybe this is one of the Badgers from that sett. However, it may come from the other site of Friars Way and the site of the old Carmelite Friary which is also an open space. This one definitely needs some investigation as local residents have long known of the existence of badgers in the area, but I doubt it is a recently laid sett.
I remember major problems for a supermarket development back home when two badger setts were found close to where they wanted to develop. They were eventually given the go ahead but had to make all sorts of changed to the initial plan to comate their black and white neighbours.