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Unanimous vote passed to install Swift Nesting Bricks in new homes in Rushcliffe

Last updated: 12/12/2023

Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) has unanimously passed a motion to ensure at least 50 per cent of homes in new developments in the Borough will now include “swift bricks” to encourage these endangered birds to nest in new communities.

At a Full Council meeting yesterday (December 7), a motion brought forward by Deputy Leader Cllr Abby Brennan, was supported by all 44 councillors that half of appropriate homes on new developments must have at least two of the bricks installed. The bricks are easily incorporated in new buildings and provide potential nesting sites for these distinctive, migratory birds.

The elected members also supported a requirement for new commercial and industrial developments to have a minimum of three swift bricks installed per appropriate unit.

The decision will now be attached to all relevant planning permissions for new buildings granted in the Borough from the earliest opportunity, using policy 38 of Local Plan Part 2 which supports environmental protections.

This is in addition to any biodiversity mitigation or enhancements normally requested through the planning process. 

The Council is now reviewing where the bricks can be added to its own existing buildings and assets.

Cllr Brennan said: “Swifts are one of our most iconic birds but due to declining insects, modern farming methods and loss of habitat and suitable nesting sites there has been a serious impact on their numbers in recent decades, meaning they are now on the RSPB “red list” of threatened species.

“We have many new buildings across the Borough but few of them, if any, provide suitable nesting sites for birds such as swifts.

“Including Swift Bricks in the design of new buildings has the potential to halt the decline of swifts in our Borough, while also providing a safe nesting place for many other types of small birds, in a permanent, discrete and maintenance-free way and I am delighted that all Councillors backed this motion.”