Row over claims that building killed badgers in Hill Head

The decking in Hill Head that has sparked a row over badgers
The decking in Hill Head that has sparked a row over badgers
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AN UNAUTHORISED extension, the building of which allegedly ‘killed off’ a family of badgers, has been approved.

A decking area, plus changes to the windows, at 89 Hill Head Road, Hill Head, went ahead without planning permission.

As the house, originally built in 2011 as ancillary accommodation, is on land designated as countryside, the owners – a Mr and Mrs Williams – had to apply for retrospective planning permission for the decking.

That application went before the latest planning committee at Fareham Borough Council and deputations against it were made by neighbour Wesley Lewis and Richard Astbury from Hill Head Residents’ Association.

Mr Lewis said he was concerned about badgers.

He said: ‘I am personally disgusted that this has been got away with. I’m most upset about the badger sett. I go to work very early in the morning and I have regularly seen badgers there.’

But he said that when work started on the extension in 2011, the badger sett was damaged and the badgers were killed.

He said: ‘They were there for definite.

‘I saw them regularly, I could name them. One had a stripe on his back.’

This was echoed by Mr Astbury.

He said this was a sensitive build on a prime site which used to house badgers, although a recent survey by the association found no evidence of them now.

Sixteen letters of objection were also sent to the council.

But Bob Tutton, on behalf of the owners, said the decking did not cause material harm to the appearance of the building or the character and appearance of the area.

On the committee, Cllr Keith Evans said: ‘The harm has already been done, the badgers have been killed off. I’m not happy about it, I don’t think we should go along with it. I would prefer us to serve an enforcement notice.’

Cllr Trevor Cartwright said: ‘If we went down the enforcement trail, I don’t think we would win.’

Cllr Nick Walker said: ‘If this went to appeal the inspector would laugh us out of court.’

The application was allowed, with five councillors voting for it and three against.