Tower to be built for breeding birds

Breeding bird: Barn owl
Breeding bird: Barn owl
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A special owl tower will be constructed at the site of proposed new housing in a Chorley village.

Twenty six new homes look set to get the go ahead in scenic Croston.

But the site has breeding barn owls - a protected species - in a derelict building.

Chorley Council’s development control committee, which meets on Tuesday evening, has been recommended by its planning officers to approve the application.

However, there are strict ecological guidelines that must be followed in such cases.

Wainhomes NW Ltd and Amarillo Investments Ltd submitted the application for the former Croston Woodworks on Station Road.

The 0.9 acre site also includes the unused De Trafford pub - vacant since 2008 - which can now be demolished.

The woodworks closed in 1992. Two derelict breezeblock buildings remain on the site which have been vandalised and suffered fire damage.

It is proposed the new homes will be a mix of terraced, semi-detached and detached properties. They will include five affordable homes.

The applicant is required to protect the breeding owls and it is now proposed to build a barn owl tower on the site.

An original report supporting the application did not provide enough protection for the owls.

But Chorley Council has confirmed the birds would now be safeguarded.

A council spokesman added: “Also the developers need a licence from Natural England, so it’s controlled not only by the council, but also by Natural England.

“Any breach would be a criminal offence as barn owls are a protected species.”