Council Approves Increased Fencing Costs at 40 Acre Field to Protect Slow Worms

At the Finance, Strategy, and Management Committee of Henley Town Council this week, Councillors agreed to increase expenditure on the development of fencing at 40 Acre Field. The fencing is to safeguard a slow worm population, which needs to be relocated due to housing development.

The Council has granted access across its Fairmile land for an upcoming housing development, located within an area that is home to a population of slow worms. Slow worms are a protected species, and therefore need to be relocated before the build can commence. Initially proposed in May 2020, the Council had resolved to use 40 Acre Field as a relocation site for slow worms residing in the Fairmile development area.

In April 2022, the Recreation and Amenities Committee and the Finance, Strategy, and Management Committee agreed the Council’s share of funding for a replacement fence along the northern footpath at 40 Acre Field. The work on the site can now start, but costs have increased since the first quote was obtained in December 2021. Additional costs have also been identified for the relocation of a gate, and for the removal of fencing.

The full quotation approved in December 2021 was £11,485, and has now increased to £14,646 (for which the Council is responsible for a percentage of).

The Committee agreed to approve the expenditure of an additional £565.25 as the Council’s share of works relating to the slow worm relocation, plus an additional £900 for the additional cost of the works to the boundary fence to the Sue Ryder field.

The council also approved the further costs, including: the relocation of the 5 bar gate into the Sue Ryder area at 40 Acre Field at £795; the disposal of the old fencing at 40 Acre Field, at £587.93; and the replacement fence between the slow worm and Sue Ryder areas at 40 Acre Field at a cost of £1,994.76.

The total approved expenditure for the fencing at 40 Acre Field will be £4,842.94. The money to fund the fencing will be taken from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

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