Trees cut to speed Northampton bus station plan

Worker cuts trees in Northampton
Image caption Workers have felled trees at the Fishmarket site where the bus station could be built

Trees have been cut down at the site of a proposed bus station in Northampton - to prevent nesting birds from delaying the work.

Council workers have started preparing the Fishmarket site.

Independent Northampton councillor Tony Clarke said it made a mockery of the planning consultation process.

Conservative council leader David Mackintosh said the development could be held up if birds nest on the site.

A planning application for the £8m replacement for the Greyfriars bus station is expected to be submitted next month.

Mr Clarke said: "The council would be the first to take action if a developer proceeded with works prior to obtaining planning permission, but they obviously think they're a law unto themselves.

"It makes a mockery of consultation and weakens our democracy in the process.

"They've proven to the public that their views are not worth tuppence and they're carrying on regardless."

Mr Mackintosh said: "For too long the council has been criticised for producing plans that never became reality.

"It would seem ridiculous if the planning committee approved plans for the new bus interchange only for months of delays because we would not want to disturb any nesting birds."

The new bus station is being jointly promoted by the borough council, Northamptonshire County Council and the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation.

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