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Kentford Lodge Habitats Regulation Assessment

Stone Curlews are Schedule 1 birds, which means that they are afforded special protection status at all times. Developments in areas that are close to the nesting and feeding sites of these rare birds need to ensure they are careful to assess the impact of the proposed development on the birds.

Photo taken by Frank Vassen

Eurasian Stone-curlew (© Frank Vassen)

Applied Ecology Ltd. recently performed a Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) after Natural England requested Kentford Developments Ltd and Pigeon Investment examine all the potential impacts on stone curlews of their Kentford Lodge development. Natural England called for this assessment as the development was near the Breckland Farmland SSSI site which forms part of the Breckland Special Protection Area (SPA).

Applied Ecology examined the nesting records of stone curlews in the area, the disturbance already caused by the existing major road nearby, the potential feeding habitat for Stone Curlews within and surrounding the development and the effect of increased population on the area in question. Once all these factors were examined a case was put forward that the development in question was highly unlikely to have any significant adverse impact on the structure and function of Stone Curlew habitat associated with the Breckland SPA. It was also argued that there would be no significant increase in recreational use and the building of the development would not increase the disturbance that was already present.

Natural England accepted these findings and planning permission was granted by Forest Heath’s development control committee for the construction of a residential development consisting of 60 homes within the grounds of Kentford lodge.