Concerns raised over hedgerow netting that stops birds nesting
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Environmental campaigners are concerned that a developer has “netted a hedgerow” to stop birds nesting in it, before a scheme for the site is approved.
Residents raised their concerns with Montgomeryshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) that netting had appeared on hedges at the entrance to a field, near Caersws, where it is proposed to build a Crematorium.
Powys Crematorium Limited intends building an all-new crematorium at a 13.66 hectare site north of the B4568 road at Ael Y Bryn between Caersws and Aberhafesp.
A spokesman for the Montgomeryshire CPRW branch, said: “The netting is hazardous to wildlife.
“Since the application has not yet been granted, it is felt that this unnecessary action is jumping the gun, and appears to predetermine a decision.
“Given that this is also in the Registered Historic Landscape of the Caersws basin the action would seem to be totally unwarranted.
“Furthermore, the area is a sanctuary for rare curlews, red kites and buzzards, often seen and heard in the fields.
“It is of concern that the fitting of the netting on the hedgerow would seem to indicate that the developer treats the local wild birds, such as chaffinch, robin, blue tits, coal tits, sparrow and blackbird, with total disregard and as an inconvenience to a development.”
They point out that no date for when the plans will be brought in front of Powys County Council’s Planning committee for a decision.
Powys Crematorium Ltd spokesperson, Miss A Barrett, said that the measure had been done to protect wildlife in the event of the development getting the go-ahead.
She believed it should not to be interpreted as pre-empting the planning process.
Miss Barrett, said : “We have been advised that netting should be applied around the potential areas of access to the site, to prevent birds nesting in hedgerows that may need to be removed.
“In line with this approach and subject to planning permission, we have been working with Land-Studio UK to identify the best species for planting new hedgerows as part of the green burial design.”
Miss Barrett added that these would sourced from nearby nurseries.
They had asked Montgomery Wildlife Trust for advice on the types of native windflowers that could be planted in the remembrance gardens and natural green burial ground.
The application was submitted in December 2020, and it was revealed Powys County Councillor for Dolforwyn, Cllr Gareth Pugh (Conservative), is registered as the only company director for Powys Crematorium Limited on the Companies House website.
Cllr Pugh is a member of the county council’s Planning committee and a spokesman has said that he will be taking “no part” or commenting on the process.
In January, Cllr Les George (Conservative) who represents Caersws said he would be calling the application in to be decided by planning committee.
Although hedgerow netting is not a breach of planning regulations in Wales, this practice has been outlawed in England on many building sites.