ANOTHER section of ancient 'overgrown' hedgerow in Cowling is set to be dug up and moved to make way for three new homes.

The bungalows, off Dick Lane, will be a continuation of a recently completed development of three homes, heard Craven District Council's Planning Committee.

The first phase, which went ahead after a government planning inspector overturned Craven Council's refusal, also required the 'translocation' of part of the hedge.

Objectors, including the parish council, at Monday's meeting argued that the first 'translocation' had failed miserably, and further replanting was likely to be the same.

But some councillors said the hedgerow had only reached its current state because it had been allowed to grow unchecked.

Objector, Susan Middleton, said she had been advised by experts that the translocation of hedges was usually on farmland and was rarely successful.

And she claimed just over half of the hedge that had been moved had survived and that it was in a 'pretty poor state'.

"You have to decide whether it is acceptable for another long stretch of hedge to be pulled up and destroyed," she said.

But the ecologist responsible for the original moving of the hedge, Jennie Caddick, said 79 per cent of the original hedge had taken and that it was a long term project of up to ten years.

"Unfortunately, it is a large, old hedgerow, but it is possible to move and for it to be a success with the correct management."

Cllr Robert Mason said the hedge was actually the result of poor management and had been left to get overgrown.

He said it could take 15 to 20 years for the replanted hedge to get to its original size.

"The hedge before only got to that state because it has been neglected over the years. I've never done hedge-laying myself, but that hedge needs re-setting," he said.

Cllr Linda Brockbank said the hedge looked like it 'had never been laid'.

"It is ready for some sort of maintenance, " she said.

Committee chairman, Cllr Alan Sutcliffe, warned councillors against rejecting the proposals for fears of the future of the hedgerow, as it had already been dismissed as a reason by the government planning inspector.