PADDOCK Wood residents believe the "bizarre" ploughing of a long-disused field has been carried out to remove protected wildlife from a proposed development site.
The town council is demanding answers over the work on the arable land at Church Farm, which forms part of a plot earmarked for hundreds of new houses by developer Rydon Homes.
Endangered slow worms – a type of legless lizard – have been spotted on the field by residents of nearby Dimmock Close and Le Temple Road who raised concerns at a Paddock Wood Town Council meeting on Monday.
If protected species are present on the site, actions that result in their deaths could be considered unlawful (even an activity such as ploughing) . If the plot of land has been designated for future development the landowners should be encouraged to employ the services of a reputable ecological consultant. The consultant will then be able to advise on what activities can be legally undertaken.
IEEM maintain a directory of consultants who are able to provide such advise. KRAG encourages consultants to show their support for best practice by becoming Corporate Members of the group. A list of Corporate Members who undertake reptile work in Kent is available on the KRAG website.