Chris Ames 27 March 2024

Norfolk caught in bitter battle over bats

Norfolk caught in bitter battle over bats image

A council leader has launched a bitter attack on Natural England after the environment watchdog effectively blocked a £274m road scheme due to its impact on bats.

At a meeting of Norfolk County Council on Tuesday, Conservative Kay Mason Billig accused the ‘unelected quango’ of ‘moving the goal posts to such an extent that they will make it almost impossible for us to be granted a licence’ for its Norwich Western Link.

She added: ‘Our officers have checked and double checked the guidance and we have taken legal advice on our position. The truth is that without that licence, we cannot build the road.’

Cllr Mason Billig said the council had been awaiting a statement from Natural England by the end of February but that it contacted the council to say that ‘due to a lack of resources’ it could not respond before 15 March.

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