The importance of the Rainton Meadows reserve at Houghton cannot be overstated.
It is free for anyone and everyone to wander and enjoy, and the staff and volunteers of the Durham Wildlife Trust work tirelessly to create and maintain habitats for countless rare and endangered species.
It is therefore of serious concern to learn that a development company have applied for permission to build 96 new houses on land adjacent to the reserve’s access road, Mallard Way.
A housing estate would certainly destroy the rural aspect of the reserve, but this is the lesser of the evils. As the area is prone to flooding, obviously, preventative measures would have to be put in place, the effects to the reserve up to now, being unknown.
But the potentially disastrous consequence to the reserve is that, statistically 15 to 20 of these ninety six households will own a pet cat.
You don’t need me to point out the damage which would be inflicted on the reserve’s many ground nesting birds and small mammals and reptiles by wandering cats.
In short, the building of these houses could potentially cause an irreparable environmental catastrophe to the reserve and the surrounding area.
I would ask the local government to please consider the implications of permitting the development