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Plan to move old Cowling hedgerow rejected
6:00am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
An ancient and “beautiful” hedgerow looks set to be saved after councillors dismissed plans to move it.
Plans to replant the hundreds-of-years-old hedge, running alongside Dick Lane, in Cowling, near Keighley, were part of a scheme to build three bungalows on land currently used for grazing, Craven District Council’s Planning Committee was told.
An ecologist for the applicant had said the hedge could be “translocated” to another site by cutting it down, digging it up and replanting it.
The applicant, Mr H Broughton, also said in a statement to the meeting that he had put in the application to help the country’s economy.
“The reason for applying for planning consent now is the continued request by government to councils to pass more land, and quickly, for dwellings, so as to help the country’s economy improve,” he said.
Mr Broughton said the land had belonged to his family since 1920, had at one time been a poultry farm and was now used for grazing sheep.
But parish council chairman Alan Perrow urged councillors to refuse the application, recommended for approval by planning officers.
He said plans to cut the hedge back to a fraction of its current height before digging it up would without doubt kill it off. “It is an ancient hedgerow, full of wildlife in a gorgeous part of Cowling. Translocation can’t work. When it has been chopped back to a foot, it will kill it,” he said.
Coun Stephen Place (Ind, Sutton-in-Craven) said he believed the hedgerow was one of the best in South Craven.
He said it contained a large number of nesting birds and was “alive with wildlife”.
“I have no doubt it would not survive translocation and to lose that hedgerow would be to lose one of the most beautiful parts of Cowling,” he said.
Coun Paul English (Lib Dem, Skipton West) said Mr Broughton had not done himself any favours by suggesting he wanted to help the country’s economy.
“I don’t have any objection to the site being used and if there was a way of doing it without removing the hedge, I would be more sympathetic,” he said.
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