Toads win stay of execution

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are breathing a sigh of relief today after a bid to build a housing development on an Ipswich meadow was put on hold.

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are breathing a sigh of relief today after a bid to build a housing development on an Ipswich meadow was put on hold.

Kiln Meadow, near Bobbits Lane, had been earmarked as a site to build 200 new homes on by Ipswich Borough Council, which owns the land.

But members of Save Kiln Meadow (SKiM) argued a development would be devastating for wildlife in the area, particularly the largest urban toad colony in the UK, which lives on the 11-acre site.

Now the council has announced it will not sell the land until at least next summer because of concerns over the economic climate and the environmental impact.

Jen Jousiffe, a SKiM committee member and conservation volunteer, said: “We are pleased it is a reprieve and really pleased that the council is paying attention to the arguments that people have put forward.

“The development would severely damage the wildlife on the site itself and that of the local nature reserves which surround it on three sides.”

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She said the group still planned on carrying out its annual toad patrol in the spring when volunteers help the toads cross Bobbits Lane.

Ipswich Borough Council's deputy leader, John Carnall, said the decision not to sell the land, which has already been granted planning permission by Babergh District Council, would be reviewed in 2009.

He added: "We have a duty to maximise the value of any asset for the council tax-payer but, having discussed this with officers, we have concluded that, given the present economic climate, now is not the right time to sell this site.

“I am also aware this will also allow for time to investigate the ecological issues associated with the site."

Should the Kiln Meadow site be used for homes or a nature reserve? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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