Wild in West Oxfordshire
Wildlife may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of your local council.
But in West Oxfordshire, the District Council is displaying some examples of bird and bat boxes as part of a wider plan to encourage householders to think about sustainable design when extending or building new homes.
Members of the public are invited to view the boxes and other sustainable building materials at the Council’s Elmfield offices, in New Yatt Road, Witney, and speak to planning officers to find out more about sustainable construction.
One of the bird boxes has been installed outside the Elmfield offices and attracted some nesting blue tits within a few weeks (pictured).
The importance of conserving and enhancing wildlife and maintaining and protecting habitats is set out in a ‘Climate Change Compliance Statement’ document produced and used by the Council to encourage anyone applying for planning permission to consider and reduce the impact of new buildings or extensions on climate change.
Cllr Warwick Robinson, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “Our Council is committed to encouraging sustainable design to help protect and enhance West Oxfordshire’s environment, and we are pleased to help advise residents and developers at the planning stage.
“While there are bigger elements to sustainable design and construction to reduce energy use, conserve water and re-use and recycle materials, there are also small steps – like putting up bird boxes or incorporating bat boxes into new buildings – that can also help to make a difference, and I would encourage people to either come in and have a look at the items we’ve got on display, or contact us.”
The bird and bat boxes have been supplied free-of-charge by suppliers to the Council for public display. Other examples of sustainable building materials are also available to view at the Council’s Elmfield offices by appointment.
To find out more about applying for planning permission, visit www.westoxon.gov.uk/planning or see www.westoxon.gov.uk/planningforms to view the Climate Change Compliance Statement. Alternatively, contact planning on 01993 861420.
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