Dormice delay multi-million pound shopping mall extension

12:36 07 November 2012

The discovery of dormice has delayed a multi-million pound expansion of the Atlantic Village shopping centre, near Bideford.

The discovery of dormice has delayed a multi-million pound expansion of the Atlantic Village shopping centre, near Bideford.

Archant

Discovery of tiny rodents halts Atlantic Village shops expansion.

The discovery of dormice has delayed a multi-million pound expansion of the Atlantic Village shopping centre, near Bideford.The discovery of dormice has delayed a multi-million pound expansion of the Atlantic Village shopping centre, near Bideford.

WORK on a multi-million pound extension to Atlantic Village has been postponed after a survey indicated the presence of dormice.

The out-of-town Bideford shopping mall is set to almost double in size with eight new shops in a new 5,405sqm retail sales area on the site of the Atlantis Adventure Park, which is to be demolished.

Torridge District Council approved the plans for the £11million redevelopment against their own officers’ recommendations in October last year, although the final go-ahead was only given at the end of August this year following the agreement of a package of financial proposals to support Bideford town centre and local public transport links.

But the discovery of the tiny rodents, a European Protected Species, means developers must relocate them to a new habitat before building – putting the start of the work on the project back to spring 2013.

An ecological impact assessment was carried out by EAD ecological consultants and found two nests in hedgerows on the site.

A spokesman for developers Drake Bideford Ltd, said: “The survey work for the application indicated the presence of a dormouse on the site which requires a licence to relocate to a new habitat.

“This process is under way but we have to adhere to the seasonal requirements of such a relocation which means that although we are ready to go it will be the spring before you will see any physical activity on the site.

“We are therefore hoping to now be open in 2014, and are in talks with a range of exciting retailers who are looking at both units within the existing facility and the larger units to be delivered as part of the approved expansion scheme.”

Dormice are mainly found in the south of England and can spend up to half the year hibernating, according to Natural England.

It is estimated there are around 45,000 dormice in England and Wales, but they are rarely seen as they are nocturnal animals.

The survey found the extension to the shopping centre will see 270 square metres of species-rich hedgerow and 1,230 square metres of broadleaved woodland – the preferred habitats for dormice – removed from the site.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1991, it is illegal to damage any structure or place used for shelter or protection by a dormouse, or to intentionally kill or injure one.

A spokesman for Natural England confirmed the developers had not yet applied for a licence to move the dormice.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Maritime officials have looked back on how steps taken to prevent an environmental disaster led to the MSC Napoli being grounded off Branscombe.

Read more
18:31

More than 200 people took part in the Womens March in Barnstaple this afternoon (Saturday) in protest of newly-elected president Donald Trump

Read more
15:00

The duo will lose their locks as part of MacMillan’s campaign

Read more
15:00

A former Royal Navy serviceman, who left the police control room after 20 years to become a PCSO, has joined Sidmouth’s neighbourhood team.

Read more

Budleigh Salterton traders are looking for someone to sponsor one of two new proposed life-saving devices in the town.

Read more
12:00

Centenarian Doris Covington is joined by family and friends to mark her 100th at Tyspane Care Home

Read more

The fundraiser will support UNICEF UK’s Syrian Children Refugee Fund, helping children affected by civil war.

Read more
10:00

Gardens will be open in the coming weeks in and around North Devon to give people the chance of enjoying this winter gem

Read more
09:00

The Arklow Resolve ship from Holland has landed thousands of tons of stone chippings at Yelland

Read more
07:00

Seaton Town Council will be asking average council tax payers for an extra 41p a week more towards its operating costs this year.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 1°C

Most Read News

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Find a job in Devon



Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications