A ruling that a bridge for red squirrels must be constructed over a St Andrews road is to be challenged.
However, St Andrews West LLP has lodged an appeal against their decision with the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals.
It wants a condition dropped from planning consent requiring the bridge as part of mitigation measures to protect wildlife in the construction area, also including badgers and otters.
Trees were felled in the North Haugh to make way for the route, which will also serve the planned St Andrews West expansion.
A pre-construction survey found only one red squirrel in the area at North Haugh, planners told Fife Council’s north east planning committee.
However, there were fears that the protected animals had already been displaced and local residents have reported seeing more of the creatures at nearby Strathtyrum.
Councillors went against the advice of planners, who said the bridge was not required and that other wildlife protection measures which include tree planting and mammal tunnels were sufficient.
They were also told that proposed squirrel monitoring would be undertaken for five years and further measures could be adopted if a population became established in the area but the committee refused to remove the condition from existing planning consent.
At their meeting on March 11, St Andrews councillor Jane Ann Liston said: “We have to leave the bridge in [the development] to give the squirrels a chance.”
St Andrews West LLP is a consortium compromising local developer Headon Developments, St Andrews University and landowners formed to drive the St Andrews West expansion.
The appeal, which will be determined following a site inspection by a government-appointed reporter, has been put on hold for the time being.
Documents have yet to be registered stating the appellant’s grounds for appeal.