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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 17:36 GMT
Newts may push up building costs
The building of a village bypass in Leicestershire could cost 1.7m more than expected after a colony of protected newts was found.

The great crested newts were found in the site of the Earl Shilton bypass.

The 15m project, due to finish this year will not now be ready until next February, costing an extra 1.2m.

Another 500,000 needs to be spent on steps to stop the rare amphibians returning and on traps to catch them when hibernation ends this spring.

If we are talking about a small number of newts costing 1.7m that is unacceptable
David Parsons, council leader

Leicestershire County Council has a legal obligation to ensure the newts and their habitat are protected.

A spokesman said: "Low numbers of newts were found - between one and 10 in the three ponds where evidence of their presence was found."

He added that the 1.7m cost was "only approximate" and would depend on how long the contractor was delayed.

Council leader Councillor David Parsons said: "I think the public will take it enormously badly and I think we have got to have a change in the law.

"If we are talking about a small number of newts costing 1.7m that is unacceptable."

The route is about three miles (5km) long and follows the corridor that links the A47 perimeter road from a new roundabout at Carrs Hill to the A47 Leicester Road.

SEE ALSO
Newts halt work on village bypass
02 Feb 08 |  Leicestershire
Work to start on village bypass
11 Jun 07 |  Leicestershire
Transport priorities get funding
06 Jul 06 |  Nottinghamshire
Village calls for bypass changes
03 Nov 02 |  England

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