Charlie Hopkins
Planning and environmental consultant

Barnstaple Western Bypass and Bridge, June 2001

New Barnstaple bridge across the River Taw.

Charlie acted for North Devon Friends of the Earth in opposing Compulsory Purchase Orders for the bridge and bypass scheme at a Public Inquiry ordered by the Secretary of State. The £35 million scheme was opposed on the grounds that, although Devon County Council had granted planning permission for the project, environmental impacts had not been properly assessed, and that the project was likely to cause irreparable damage to a number of protected species, including otters, bats and a large number of endangered bird species, including little egrets, kingfishers and peregrines.

Campaigners also argued that the proposed road would cut through the Taw-Torridge Site of Special Scientific Interest (cited as nationally important for over-wintering and migratory birds), and, it is argued the site should be designated as a candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC) under the EU Habitats Directive. It is also one of the most important sites for the recovering otter population in the South West.