AN UNDERPASS for newts will be built to protect the species during a large-scale property development.
1,040 new homes are set to be built in Glenboig, North Lanarkshire, and developers have pledged to protect the Great Crested Newts that dwell in the area.
Banks Property has been granted a ‘Great Crested Newt Development Licence’ by Scottish National Heritage, meaning the newts will be relocated during construction and then re-introduced into a new, specially designed habitat.
The plan also includes building an underpass under a new proposed link road for the newts to use, and an expansion of a nearby local nature reserve.
Scottish Natural Heritage, the government body responsible for the conservation of Scotland’s wildlife, granted the licence to the Hamilton based developer following a detailed application which confirmed that the development will not affect the favourable conservation status of the species.
Great Crested Newts have been subject to significant habitat loss since WWII when there was a huge amount of change in how land was managed, which is why they are now protected by European and UK legislation.
Scott Knowles, an ecological consultant to Banks Property, said: “Through a commitment to protecting the local ecology, Banks Property successfully demonstrated that the population of Great Crested Newt would not suffer a decline and that a detailed management plan involving creation and management of retained habitats will allow the population to continue to grow and expand from the adjacent nature reserve.”
Colin Anderson, director at Banks Property, said: “Being awarded this important licence is testament to our development with care approach at Banks Property.
“We are pleased to be doing our bit to safeguard such an important pocket of rare wildlife, including manual investigations of construction routes as well as developing long term mitigation measures and habitat compensation.
“What is particularly pleasing is that rather than suffer a loss of habitat, the great crested newt population could continue to grow with the development of habitat and long term management.”
The 1,040 homes earmarked for Glenboig are part of a Community Growth Area aiming to deliver 3,000 new homes allocated in the North Lanarkshire Local Plan.
It is estimated this development will support approximately 2,500 constructions jobs and provide a boost of around£1 billion to the North Lanarkshire economy.