Nesting birds delay major Gloucestershire project
By Punchline reporter | 4th June 2021
Nesting birds have set back work on a major Gloucestershire redevelopment project by six months.
Plans to improve the road to Lydney Harbour have been delayed because a survey had to be carried out on winter birds nesting at the location.
Contractors started work on the £2.1 million project to transform the docks into a major tourism destination last year.
A total of £1.5 million has also been earmarked to improve the roads in the area and create space for cyclists and pedestrians.
But the nesting birds caused them to down tools. Work which should have been completed in March, will now not be finished until September.
Gloucestershire County Council blames a winter bird nesting survey and the coronavirus pandemic for the delay.
Councillor Alan Preest says the council needs to get on with the work as soon as possible.
"Winter birds surveys in adjacent fields has been the excuse," he said.
"Well, bird surveys were done down there back in 2017. Bearing in mind the only way in and out of the big industrial estate is along that stretch of road - you've easily got 150 HGV movements in a day, probably a lot more.
"I can't understand quite why they feel they can't resurface the road. Bearing in mind the adjacent fields they are on about are the other side of the canal...
"Really, should we be worrying about birds or getting this major route sorted out and trying to boost the economy of the Forest of Dean?"
Mark Darlow-Joy, Highways Contract Manager at Gloucestershire County Council, admitted the winter birds nesting survey had caused a delay of up to six months.
"We appreciate the issues raised, however all of the council's major projects must take into account any impact on the environment or natural habitats," he said.
"And as this road sits within a wetland area of international importance by law we have to carry out a winter birds nesting survey which has contributed a delay of up to six months.
"In addition, Covid has also had an impact on this project and has contributed to the time needed to complete the scheme.
"We are currently finalising plans for the project and aim to be on site at the earliest opportunity."
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