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Subject: Kingskerswell Bypass Application is illegal?
Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 18:12:16 +0100

Proposed Kingskerswell Bypass faces legal challenge

The Kingskerswell Alliance has submitted a request to Devon County Council, asking them to specifically consider the below issue of legaility when discussing the planning application on June 8th.

Submission -

The United Kingdom is a signatory to a treaty entitled Conservation of bats in Europe which came into force on 16 January 1994. Under Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, "Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it".

The proposed Kingskerswell Bypass scheme has been assessed as Large Adverse on these relevant bat species.

The Environmental Impact Survey revealed that bat detector surveys had shown important protected species of bats to be foraging and commuting along the whole of the proposed bypass route in appreciable numbers. The work carried out for Devon County Council revealed a significant presence of European and nationally protected bats along the length of the proposed route. Several bat roosts have been discovered including significant 'satellite roosts' for both Lesser and Greater Horseshoe bats.

In addition there is an appreciable population of bats within Kingskerswell village itself, including a nationally important nursery roost for the Lesser Horseshoe bat, which is a key European protected species.

Of particular interest is the advice given by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in respect of Lesser Horseshoe bats. The JNCC is the UK Government's wildlife adviser, undertaking national and international conservation work on behalf of the three country nature conservation agencies English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Countryside Council for Wales.

The following information is from the JNCC web site -

The Lesser Horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros is one of the smallest bats in the UK. During the summer they form maternity colonies in old buildings and emerge to hunt in nearby woodland.

The species prefers sheltered valleys with extensive deciduous woods or dense scrub, close to roost sites. Where habitat is fragmented, linear features such as hedgerows are important corridors between roosts and foraging areas.

The bats are vulnerable to the loss or disturbance of both summer and winter roost sites and the removal of linear habitat corridors.

The lesser horseshoe bat is a widespread but rare species in central and southern Europe, extending as far eastwards as the Middle East. It has suffered widespread population declines, especially in the more northern parts of its range. The UK supports one of the largest populations of this species in Western Europe.

Under International law, adminsitered by the UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), it is illegal to damage or disturb these sites.

Building this scheme and merely offering to supply bat boxes as alternative roosts is a token gesture. The damage caused to their natural feeding habitat would decimate the population. Therefore providing alternative roosts is simply not a viable mitigation measure. Having these bats living and feeding along the line of the proposed route might be very inconvenient, but this loss of habitat cannot be justified morally or legally.

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