Protected species could be affected by the new distribution center in Bicester

A real estate developer is looking to demolish existing structures and build a distribution center on land that could house several protected species.

An updated ecological report detailing findings from the presence of various species at the Graven Hill employment site, on Circular Road in Ambrosden, immediately south of the wider Graven Hill development, showed the area could be home to several protected species.

Proposals for the site, first submitted in April this year, involved the demolition of existing buildings on the former MOD land for redevelopment as a commercial distribution center with associated infrastructure and landscaping.

The report states that the majority of the terrestrial habitat on the site will be lost to allow for development.

The purpose of the ecological assessment was to understand the impacts of the proposed development on bat tree roosts, identify key foraging and commuting areas for bats present, identify the number and the distribution of reptiles on the site, identify and assess the impacts of development on badgers and make recommendations to avoid and mitigate them.

The report states that: “The majority of the site was not suitable for reptiles, although ditches with banks of ruderal vegetation were found to be suitable.

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“A total of seven fact-finding visits were carried out between April 20 and May 26, 2022.

“A maximum number of five common lizards have been recorded on site. Following the evaluation of the size of the population class, the site was therefore considered to support a “good” population of common lizards.

“Manly lizards have been recorded in grassland areas along the bare ground of old railway tracks to the north and east of the site.”

Additionally, the report states that a tree within the site boundary had been identified as a day roost for the common pipistrelle during a previous assessment carried out in 2020.

“Due to the presence of this roost and the time that has elapsed since previous surveys, an updated bat roost assessment has been undertaken on all trees within the site boundaries to reaffirm their potential as a bat roost. as a bat roost.

“The assessment identified two trees with high potential, four trees with moderate potential and 15 trees with low potential to support roosting bats.

“Five trees were also considered to have hibernation potential.”

Listing the potential impacts the proposed development could have on wildlife present on the site, the report states: “Further mitigation measures will be required before and during construction to ensure that no reptiles are harmed.

“The potential impacts of the proposed development on bat activity will be provided as an update to this addendum, upon completion of surveys in October 2022.”

This story was written by Matthew Normanhe joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on researching stories from various communities.

Contact him by email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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