Concerns on wetlands work investigated

An investigation after concerns were raised about the possible destruction of a wildlife area

An investigation after concerns were raised about the possible destruction of a wildlife area

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Concerns from neighbouring residents has led to an investigation into recent work carried out in a green wetland area near the Grove Museum in Ramsey.

Concerns had been raised following the ongoing removal of trees and shrubs by groundworks contractor over the loss of mature trees, the destruction of a wildlife area potentially inhabited by frogs and the development of land without a valid planning approval, in the site which adjoins Clifton Drive, Balleigh Park and The Grove Museum field.

It was looked into by the town commissioners and government planning officer Jason Singleton, and biodiversity officer Richard Selman. It was determined there had been no planning breach as the clearance of scrub and bushes was not considered to be a ‘development’, while as for the possible loss of habitat for wildlife, Mr Selman said there is no record of frogs on the site, whilst the Ramsey Wildlife Report published by the Manx Wildlife Trust identifies the area as land of ‘medium wildlife value’.

However Mr Selman will speak to the contractor to note that frogs and their suitable habitats have protection, and this should be taken into consideration to avoid reckless actions under the Wildlife Act.

Northern Area Forester Jason Bolt also visited the site and found no contravention of the Tree Preservation Act 1993, regarding the mature trees. It was noted that if any further works commence on site, they will be assessed separately.

The area in question is designated as ‘predominantly residential’ within the Ramsey Local Plan 1998, though the most recent planning approval in principle for the site – for a primary school in 1999 –expired in 2003.

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