NDR Western Link - woodland and landscape, credit Iain Robinson

NDR Western Link: Norfolk Wildlife Trust will object


Wednesday 02 September, 2020


Norfolk Wildlife Trust will strongly object to any planning application for the Western Link and has written to the Department for Transport to raise its concerns over unacceptable wildlife impacts.

The proposed road will link the end of the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) on the A1067 with the A47 near to Easton. It would very likely result in the long-term complete loss of a Special Area of Conservation calibre breeding colony of barbastelle bats, listed as endangered on the IUCN and UK red lists. The bat roosts are protected by law from disturbance and destruction under the Wildlife & Countryside Act and the Habitats Regulations. Additional likely losses are areas of woodland expected to qualify as ancient woodland and permanent damage to two chalk rivers, a globally rare habitat of which the UK holds a significant proportion.

Conservation Officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Mike Jones said:
“Based on the evidence available, we consider that the proposal would result in the loss of significant and irreplaceable ecological features of national importance for which mitigation and compensation are not feasible. We cannot envisage how it would be possible to proceed with the road and comply with wildlife laws and planning policies, nor provide a net gain for biodiversity as stated by Norfolk County Council. As a result, NWT intends to strongly object to the planning application.”

Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Pamela Abbott said: 
“We have written to the Department for Transport to urge the Western Link is removed from further consideration. Our recommendation is that the road proposal is stopped at this point. Alternative options for meeting future transport needs that do not contravene multiple wildlife laws must be examined further.”

NWT has also written to Norfolk County Council to share its concerns about the protected habitats and species. It highlighted that proposed new tree planting — regardless of scale — cannot replicate the mature woodland roosting habitats used by a significant colony of endangered bats on the route. NWT therefore strongly disagrees with the Council’s claim that a net gain for biodiversity can be delivered in this context.
 

Read more: the unacceptable impacts of the Western Link


The landscape between the A47 and A1067 is a well-connected network of habitats that are important for wildlife. Film courtesy of Iain Robinson
Share this

Top news stories

2021-04-12 Prize draw of NWT 250 Club Prize draw of NWT 250 Club
Monday 12 April, 2021
First 40th anniversary draw  The February 2021 Draw of the 250 Club was held remotely on 26 February, and 118 p...
2021-04-12 Covid update - roadmap to reop Covid update - roadmap to reopening
Monday 12 April, 2021
In light of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, Norfolk Wildlife Trust has reopened its vis...
2021-04-09 Death of HRH the Duke of Edinb Death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh
Friday 09 April, 2021
NWT is saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, husband of our Patron Her Majesty the Queen. We are keepin...
2021-04-07 Almost £8 million raised for T Almost £8 million raised for The Wildlife Trusts’ nature recovery plans
Wednesday 07 April, 2021
The Wildlife Trusts have raised almost £8 million just six months after launching their 30 by 30 ambition to ki...
2021-03-24 Take the lead Take the lead
Wednesday 24 March, 2021
This spring we have got together some of our favourite dog friends to explain how - together - we can keep dogs ...
2021-03-06 NWT seeking public support for NWT seeking public support for appeal on its 95th anniversary 
Saturday 06 March, 2021
On the 95th anniversary of the purchase of our first nature reserve, Cley Marshes, Norfolk Wildlife Trust is seeking ...
2021-03-01 Covid update - roadmap to reop Covid update - roadmap to reopening
Monday 01 March, 2021
In light of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, Norfolk Wildlife Trust will reopen its visi...
2021-03-01 Make a date with nature this s Make a date with nature this spring
Monday 01 March, 2021
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is asking people to share their first sightings of three species associated with spring in the...
2021-03-01 We need nature’s recovery in l We need nature’s recovery in law
Monday 01 March, 2021
Major new campaign to protect nature launches today backed by 50+ nature organisations, plus celebrities and politica...
2021-02-15 All creatures great and small All creatures great and small
Monday 15 February, 2021
As part of the 95th anniversary year Norfolk Wildlife Trust is surveying the Bishop’s House Garden in Norwich t...
2021-02-02 UK Crane population hits recor UK Crane population hits record high
Tuesday 02 February, 2021
Crane numbers have hit record levels after becoming extinct in the UK nearly 400 years ago. Thanks to the efforts of ...
2021-01-11 Very bad news for bees warns N Very bad news for bees warns Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Monday 11 January, 2021
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is alarmed to learn the Government has agreed the use of a highly damaging pesticide - neonico...