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Youngsters join fight to save newt habitat
CHILDREN have joined the fight to save rare newts in a Pickering meadow which is earmarked for a controversial housing estate.
Up to 61 homes are set to be built in a field off Whitfield Avenue, on the edge of the market town, by Leeds development company, Carla Homes.
But the scheme has angered many residents and members of the town council which is urging Ryedale District Council to veto the plan.
The youngsters want protection for the great crested newts which live in and around a pond where the development is planned.
Town mayor Coun Julie Hepworth said: "Feelings are running high against the scheme because people want to see the newts preserved and we are not convinced that moving them is the answer."
The future of the newts is just one issue worrying local councillors and neighbours, she said. The density of the development, design, road safety problems and question marks over a play area are all causing concern, she said. "This is an area of attractive open countryside and we think a more suitable site could be found for the development which will safeguard the future of the newts."
Neighbours say the scheme will put renewed pressure on health services and schools in Pickering, and add to its already acute traffic congestion problems.
Ryedale District Council's planning committee is expected to make a decision on the scheme in the next few weeks.