Pembrokeshire County Council has been told to apologise and pay £250, after the Ombudsman found it had failed to enforce a planning condition to safeguard the habitat of badgers on a development site.

Badger Watch and Rescue Dyfed said the council had failed to enforce a condition requiring a survey of badgers on the site of a Haverfordwest development, before work started and details of measures taken to protect their habitat.

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint, finding that the council had delayed in taking enforcement action.

He also found that the council had not followed through a threat to serve a breach of condition notice in July 2008 and was critical of the loss of its planning file and delays in dealing with correspondence.

Badger Watch and Rescue Dyfed advisor, Michael Sharratt, said the group was “very pleased” with the ruling.

“The council has apologised and we hope the badgers will now be protected,”

he added.

A county council spokesman said it did not accept that it had committed maladministration in respect of the enforcement action taken, although the remedy was accepted, as it had “complied with the appropriate guidance in respect of enforcement of planning conditions”.

“Despite the fact that fact that compliance with the condition took three years to achieve, after the developer agreed to take the requisite action, no threat was ever posed to the badgers, which in fact thrived during the enforcement period.”