Just got a call from the Daily Mail - they alerted me to a story in today's Sunday Times...
A property developer has banned homeowners from keeping cats or dogs to protect birdlife on nearby heathland.
Residents on a new estate who fail to comply with the ban could ultimately face eviction.
The prohibition applies to houses with gardens as well as people living in flats on the 450-home estate on the edge of Farnborough, Hampshire.
The development lies a mile from 32 square miles of heathland that is protected under the European Union Birds Directive. Redrow, the developer, has excluded cats and dogs to pre-empt any planning veto.
The heathland is home to the endangered Dartford warbler as well as nightjars and woodlarks.
The species nest on or near the ground, making them vulnerable to predators.
The Mammal Society estimates that Britain’s 8m domestic cats kill as many as 5m birds a month.
Locals are bemused by the ban as most of the protected heathland is open to the public, who are free to roam across it with their pets.
Ann Widdecombe, the Tory MP and cat owner, said: “The dictatorial nature of this decree is unbelievable. The developer has exceeded its powers by telling people what pets they can and can’t own.”
The RSPB said the ban was “unenforceable.”
A pet-free ghetto. What a very miserable place to live that would be. And if the council is anything like nearby Runnymeade I'm sure Redrow will get their planning consent. Why are so many councils so anti-pet?
And why will the people keeping a dog in their homes upset the birds more than those walking their pets on the common? Or the foxes who come and go without restraint.
The world is going absolutely bonkers.