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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 10:15 GMT
Plea to save heaths from housing
Dartford Warbler, courtesy of the RSPB
Nightjars, woodlarks and Dartford warblers are found on the heaths
The RSPB is trying to stop more housing from being built near an area of heathland in the South, which is home to endangered species of wild birds.

Plans to build 40,000 new homes near the Thames Basin Heaths, in Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey, have been halted for a year ahead of a public inquiry.

The charity is backing plans to charge developers for houses built within three miles (5km) of protected land.

Under the new proposals building within 437 yards (400m) would be banned.

'Much needed solution'

The RSPB said the Thames Basin Heaths were vital for rare birds such as nightjars, woodlarks and Dartford warbler.

The plan put forward by Natural England, aimed at balancing the demand for more housing and protecting the heathland, is to be examined next March.

It includes introducing a charge for developers for every house built within three miles (5km) of the protected land.

The proposals also suggest housing applications should be considered for their overall impact on surrounding land.

Chris Corrigan, of the RSPB, said the plan would provide a much-needed solution to the pressures of residential development around the Thames Basin Heaths.

New parks 'will help save heaths'
24 Apr 06 |  Berkshire
Home cat ban plan to save birds
13 Mar 06 |  Berkshire
Building toll on heathland birds
09 Dec 05 |  England
Heathland birds to win protection
08 Mar 05 |  Berkshire

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