Dormice delay multi-million pound shopping mall extension

12:36 07 November 2012

The discovery of dormice has delayed a multi-million pound expansion of the Atlantic Village shopping centre, near Bideford.

The discovery of dormice has delayed a multi-million pound expansion of the Atlantic Village shopping centre, near Bideford.

Archant

Discovery of tiny rodents halts Atlantic Village shops expansion.

The discovery of dormice has delayed a multi-million pound expansion of the Atlantic Village shopping centre, near Bideford.The discovery of dormice has delayed a multi-million pound expansion of the Atlantic Village shopping centre, near Bideford.

WORK on a multi-million pound extension to Atlantic Village has been postponed after a survey indicated the presence of dormice.

The out-of-town Bideford shopping mall is set to almost double in size with eight new shops in a new 5,405sqm retail sales area on the site of the Atlantis Adventure Park, which is to be demolished.

Torridge District Council approved the plans for the £11million redevelopment against their own officers’ recommendations in October last year, although the final go-ahead was only given at the end of August this year following the agreement of a package of financial proposals to support Bideford town centre and local public transport links.

But the discovery of the tiny rodents, a European Protected Species, means developers must relocate them to a new habitat before building – putting the start of the work on the project back to spring 2013.

An ecological impact assessment was carried out by EAD ecological consultants and found two nests in hedgerows on the site.

A spokesman for developers Drake Bideford Ltd, said: “The survey work for the application indicated the presence of a dormouse on the site which requires a licence to relocate to a new habitat.

“This process is under way but we have to adhere to the seasonal requirements of such a relocation which means that although we are ready to go it will be the spring before you will see any physical activity on the site.

“We are therefore hoping to now be open in 2014, and are in talks with a range of exciting retailers who are looking at both units within the existing facility and the larger units to be delivered as part of the approved expansion scheme.”

Dormice are mainly found in the south of England and can spend up to half the year hibernating, according to Natural England.

It is estimated there are around 45,000 dormice in England and Wales, but they are rarely seen as they are nocturnal animals.

The survey found the extension to the shopping centre will see 270 square metres of species-rich hedgerow and 1,230 square metres of broadleaved woodland – the preferred habitats for dormice – removed from the site.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1991, it is illegal to damage any structure or place used for shelter or protection by a dormouse, or to intentionally kill or injure one.

A spokesman for Natural England confirmed the developers had not yet applied for a licence to move the dormice.

0 comments

Other News Stories

15:53

Fire crews from Exmouth were called out to a kitchen fire in The Strand on Tuesday, March 31.

Read more
14:59
Thomas Whitty’s descendants with some of the Axminster Heritage group

The only known portrait of Thomas Whitty, found in Canada, is presented to the town’s heritage centre

Read more
13:00
Lydia, Jodie and Millie Cross have welcomed the news a meningitis vaccine will finally be introduced.

The Cross family, whose daughters were both hit by the disease, welcome the news a vaccine will soon be given to all babies in the UK.

Read more
12:50
Take part in our General Election survey.

We want to know YOUR views ahead of the General Election - take part in our survey here.

Read more
11:53
A party to celebrate the life of Welcome Centre regular Roy McCrohan was held this week. Pictured are his wife Mary, son Andy and daughter Sue with staff and clients at the centre. Roy was a professional footballer, he played number 4 right half and made 462 appearances for Norwich City, he was a player coach for Bristol Rovers as well as coaching at Luton Town and at Ipswich Town with Bobby Robson. Ref exe 0700-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A party has been held to celebrate the life of a former professional footballer, who will be remembered as someone who ‘always had a smile for everybody’.

Read more
11:00
Westward Ho!

Village parade will take place on Saturday in Westward Ho! with families asked to take part.

Read more
Patient Participation Group chairman Di Fuller with members of the Sid Vale Association

Building work is almost complete and the Sid Valley’s new £2.1million surgery is set to open in early June – but a new funding bid is under way to improve the look of its car park.

Read more
Fire engines2

Three fire engines were called out to Hobbs Hill this morning (Tuesday).

Read more
09:04
Lympstone Central Stores received their first delivery of bags from Otter Rotters composting collection team. Di Hekt and Sandra Clark with Gillian Freeman, Paul Bastyan and Jay Mallon from the Otter Rotters. Ref exe 1258-12-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A community composting group is celebrating 15 years of collecting garden waste by bringing its service to Lympstone.

Read more
Volunteers and trustees from the NDCCCT handing over the cheque for £300,000.

Final cheque for £300,000 from North Devon Cancer Care Centre Trust brings Chemo Appeal to its fundraising total.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Family Notices 24


Devon's trusted business finder