Barratt Homes to pay £400k to re-home 10 rare birds

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Cirl BuntingImage source, RSPB
Image caption,
Cirl buntings are only found in south Devon and south Cornwall

A developer is set to pay more than £400,000 to re-home 10 rare birds after a housing estate was given the green light.

Councillors approved the plans for 187 homes close to Paignton, Devon.

As part of the scheme, Barratt Homes is paying £437,500 to provide an alternative home for five pairs of cirl buntings, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.

The species is only found in south Devon and south Cornwall.

An ecological impact assessment for the site found one of the main impacts of the planned estate at Yannon's Farm would be on the breeding habitat for cirl buntings.

Developers have to carry out measures to make up for wildlife habitat loss under planning rules.

Paignton councillor Barbara Lewis, said she did not object to protecting endangered species but questioned the size of the bill.

"I find that amazing. You could build three bungalows for that," she said.

Tony Whitehead, from the RSPB, said: "I'm sure you could build some bungalows for that sum, but we are in an ecological emergency and it's vital that developers do whatever they can to provide equally good homes for our buntings and other wildlife."

The RSPB said there were 860 cirl bunting territories in the UK.

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