Judgement day in court for Brentwood badgers

Today (Friday) is D-Day for badgers in Hutton as a ruling is due in a High Court challenge to a development of �3m worth of luxury homes.

Campaigner Ralph Patmore asked the court to intervene to save badgers whose future he says will be threatened by a development on land next to Longaford Way, Hutton Mount.

Mr Patmore says that badgers use the site to forage and make setts.

Brentwood Council has approved plans to build two six bedroom homes with garages on the site.

The court was told that in February 2010, the council granted planning permission to developer Stonebond Properties to build two detached houses with garages on the land.

Mr Patmore has asked Deputy Judge Alice Robinson to quash that decision and order the council to reconsider the application, properly taking the needs of the local badger population into account.

He says that the council was wrong to grant planning permission for the development in February 2010 without hearing from a badger expert put forward by the Essex Badger Protection Group.

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Mr Patmore says that, at that meeting, the council failed to take material evidence into account and made an error of law, and the permission should be quashed.

But the council maintains that the badger issues were before the planning committee, that they were properly considered, and that the result would have been no different had the expert been given the opportunity to speak.

The judge is expected to make her decision this morning.

Jack Reedy, from the Badger Trust, said he couldn’t comment on the ongoing case, but said: “When planning permission is granted it’s important that the law is followed.

“Badgers are a protected species, they are very vulnerable and they suffered cruel persecution in the past.

“When they want to protect themselves they dig into the ground. If you dig up where they have a sett it would put them at risk.”

Keep checking the Recorder website for updates.

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