Planners give green light for office and bird sanctuary development


ECDC - Credit: Archant

A distribution company in Little Downham has won permission to build a bird sanctuary.

Marjo Distribution applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council for permission to build new offices in Third Drove, alongside an eco-friendly bird sanctuary.

Marjo, which employs eight people, told the council that it has been based in temporary offices for 15 years and wished to expand into a more permanent location.

And, together with the new offices, Marjo said it wanted to build “a hub” for surrounding wildlife.

Although Little Downham Parish Council was apposed to the plans, saying that it constituted development in the countryside, East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Rebecca Saunt disagreed and backed the proposal.

Marjo told the council: “We wish to create a bird sanctuary and building that re-encourages the now diminishing local bird population.

“The droves used to be a hive of bird activity but changes in agriculture have led to a huge decline in various birds. With the help of the RSPB, which has advised on the project, we wish to plant the necessary vegetation to reinstall the habitat that would be ideal for various local birds.

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“This would transform this field which is, due to its shape, not ideal for farming, in to a beautiful and fully vegetated space which would greet you as you come over the rail and on to Main Drove.”

According to the plans, the sanctuary will include a hidden observatory for bird-watching, a water pool, grassed roofs and solar panels.

Wildlife areas will be created to encourage, including feeding stations and grassed beds, will be created to encourage animals and insects and there will also be a host of eco-friendly features including rain water harvesting, wood stove, natural insulation, and ground source heat pumps.