Police called in over swift demolition row

Stock image of a swift
Stock image of a swift

Developers have been accused of damaging swift nests by campaigners who called the police to put a stop to demolition works.

Thames Valley Police attended the former Royal Mail building in Bell Street, Princes Risborough, after reports that developers WE Black, which is building a Morrisons Local store and five flats on the site, removed nests which have been used by the birds for 70 years.

However, workers say they conducted a thorough search of the building, and could find no swifts or nests before demolition works began.

Facilities for the birds, which are a protected species, will also be included in the new building.

The firm’s boss Eric Gadsden also said that his lawyers would be looking into the actions of police, who halted his workmen on site.

But Francis Gomme, of the Risborough Countryside Group claimed that the birds’ habitat is now under threat as a result.

He said: “They have nested for over 70 years in the roof of that building, requiring particular pitched eaves that this location provided.

“It’s a really sad day for the town.

“Wycombe District Council showed little interest nor appetite to get involved.

“Consequently WE Black had no fear of the consequences.”