LOCAL ANGER: The anti-bird nests erected in Ovington
LOCAL ANGER: The anti-bird nests erected in Ovington

VILLAGERS are challenging a developer who has put up controversial bird nets.

Last November Malcolm Buttery, of Stockton, applied for planning permission to build a detached dwelling and garage to the south east of Moor View on Post Office Lane, in Ovington.

Earlier this year the hedgerow abutting the plot and Post Office Lane was netted to prevent birds from nesting. Ovington Parish Council has now registered a number of objections.

In a statement, the council said: “Ovington Parish Council and many residents of Ovington village are strongly opposed to the hedgerow netting which has now been in place for approximately four months. There is no evidence of the netting in Ovington being monitored. It has also been poorly maintained and the netting does not fully enclose the hedge.”

The practice of putting up anti-bird nets has been controversial across the UK with protestors tearing them down on some sites. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has claimed it risks trapping birds and denying them valuable nesting space.

The Ministry of Housing , Communities and Local Government, earlier this year said: “Netting trees and hedgerows is only appropriate where genuinely needed to protect birds from harm during development. Any development project must consider the impact on local wildlife and take precautionary action to protect habitat. Bird netting should be kept to a minimum, and used only to help protect birds during development.”

Environmentalists argue that the use of netting to prevent birds nesting in hedgerows and trees allows developers to get around the law that prevents the removal and damage of bird’s nests, and avoid delays to development caused by the nesting season. Ovington Parish Council has written to both the applicant’s ecological consultants and the county council to express its concern.

The proposed development has led to 26 objections.