‘Red status’ bird uses Great Bircham development site

An adult spotted flycatcher pauses, having just fed its hungry chicks  PHOTO:  John Harding /BTO  

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An adult spotted flycatcher pauses, having just fed its hungry chicks PHOTO: John Harding /BTO Must credit ENGANL00120110523151821

Planners were told that a threatened species of bird feeds on a site earmarked for development.

William James told West Norfolk Council’s planning committee that two to three pairs of Spotted Flycatchers have been seen feeding in Long Meadow, Great Bircham.

Spotted Flycatchers have been given a “red status” by the RSPB after seeing a historic decline in numbers.

Benton Builders already has permission to construct 10 homes on the site but yesterday councillors were asked to extend the application by three months for the section 106 agreements to be arranged, which was granted by councillors.

Nest boxes are due to be provided on the site.

At yesterday’s meeting Mr James said: “This bird may breed on Long Meadow. This should have been picked up on by the council for further investigation. This bird does not normally use nest boxes. This constitutes a total disregard and misinterpretation of the EU Legislation.”

He also said the development was not in keeping with Great Bircham and also lodged objections about traffic.

Committee member Avril Wright raised concerns about the “fresian cow” appearance of the homes during the meeting.