Ilkeston railway station: Plans delayed by great crested newts

Ilkeston station plan Image copyright Derbyshire County Council
Image caption Great-crested newts set back the building work for Ilkeston station by four months

Newts have set back the start of building work on a new railway station in Derbyshire by four months.

Work was due to start on Ilkeston station in June but the discovery of the great-crested newts means work cannot start until October.

The £6.5m station will now open in spring 2015, rather than December, as was originally planned, the county council said.

Councillor Andy Botham said he was "disappointed".

The county council said extra flooding prevention work also had to be carried out.

'Will be frustrating'

"Building a station is a complex civil engineering project and we've needed to work with many organisations. We've had a number of set-backs which were beyond our control and couldn't be foreseen," said Mr Botham.

"We know that this will be frustrating for local people, as it is for us, but we are doing all we can to get the station built as quickly as possible," he said.

The newts - a species protected by law - were found during a routine ecological site survey, the council said, and an application to Natural England for a licence to work on the site has been submitted.

Image caption Great-crested newts are protected by law

The licence sets out what work can be carried out while the amphibians are trapped and relocated.

Four culverts must be built under the station car park to take floodwater, under new requirements for flood protection.

Mr Botham said that, once work starts it is likely to take place six days a week, with some work taking place overnight, in a bid to speed up progress.

Ilkeston is thought to be the largest town on the rail network without a station.

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