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Building Developments

The rapid rise in property development up and down the county represents one of the biggest risks to our badger population and dealing with planning consultations is therefore one of the most important aspects of our work. If not handled correctly, development projects can result in the loss of badger habitat, the increased urbanisation of badgers, an increase in garden problems for surrounding homeowners and even an increase in road casualties.

It is important to remember that, whilst badgers and their setts are protected by law, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 does allow setts to be closed under licence and this will often happen during construction projects. Closure is usually achieved by the fitting of ‘one way’ doors to the sett entrances, allowing the badgers to leave but not re-enter. Wire mesh is usually placed on the ground at the same time in order to prevent the badgers digging back into the sett elsewhere.

A badger sett being closed on the edge of a construction site

Sometimes this is the best solution, especially if it allows the badgers to relocate to more suitable setts in their territory, away from the sound and dangers of construction work. However, we believe that sett closures are too often chosen as the “easy” solution, without any consideration for the badgers or the wider ecological impacts. Many are allowed to proceed without any thought as to where the badgers can go once excluded from their homes.

Whilst the presence of badgers will rarely be enough to prevent planning permission being granted for any given scheme, we can nevertheless intervene at the consultation phase in order to ensure that all the correct processes are being followed and that the needs of the badgers are being properly considered.

Most south east Essex councils already contact us directly to seek our comments when they receive a planning application which could impact badgers and we have responded to hundreds of consultations in recent years. However, if you are concerned about any planning proposals yourself, please contact us as soon as possible via with the following information:

  • The planning reference number and the council area in which it falls.
  • Why you think the proposal will impact badgers.
  • Any evidence you have that badgers are living on the site to be developed.

We will then be happy to review the case in order to ensure that the correct process is being followed and that all possible steps are being taken to protect any badgers affected by the proposals.

Click on the link below to download a useful guide which has been produced by the Badger. It aims to widen knowledge and make best practice guidance for badger protection easier to understand among planners, developers, ecologists, local authorities, wildlife crime investigators, nature lovers and other interested parties, so that the legal requirmements for badger protection are properly understood and practiced:

Badger Trust Badger Protection Best Practice Guidance for Developers Ecologists and Planners (England)

Contact Us:

  • Tel: 07341 944567
           07341 944568

  • eMail:

Patron: Mike Dilger
(Natural History Presenter)

The Essex Badger Protection Group
is affiliated to The Badger Trust

Registered charity No. 1111440

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