Planned housing development could ban cats to protect water voles

Owners of planned houses on the edge of a Shropshire market town could be banned from owning cats in order to protect the water voles that dwell on the site.

The proposal forms part of an application for outline planning permission, validated by Shropshire Council last week and set to be determined by the end of November. Mattell Trustees Ltd plans to build up to 70 houses on a triangle of land on the outskirts of the ancient market town of Whitchurch, between Stoke-on-Trent and Oswestry.

The largely grassy site, some of which would be retained for public amenity and biodiversity protection, is bisected by Staggs Brook, a small tree-lined watercourse. It provides banks for burrows and a variety of food plants that support the voles.

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