A BADGER sett could be under threat if developers get the go-ahead to build two houses in Shenfield.

Members of the Essex Badger Protection Group have spoken of their fears for the badgers’ safety if Stonebond Properties, a Brentwood-based developer, are allowed to build two detached houses in Hutton Mount, Shenfield.

The protection group have said some badgers will die if building work goes ahead.

They also said it will be impossible to relocate the badgers, of which there are at least seven, including two cubs.

However, the developers have vowed no badgers will be harmed.

Ralph Patmore, who lives in Hutton Mount and has been a member of the Essex Badger Protection Group for five years, said: “There’s no one protecting the badgers.

“There is a living sett on that land and there’s nowhere for them to go. People won’t want them in their gardens, the badgers will be persecuted.”

He added: “The developers shouldn’t build anything there, residents don’t want them to.”

Under the law, it is illegal to recklessly interfere with a badger sett.

Chris Weedon, from Stonebond Properties, who secured outline planning permission from Brentwood Council to develop the site in 2006, said: “I am 100 per cent convinced the well-being of the badgers is sacrosanct.

“We will employ a specialist company to make sure they are moved and not injured.”

Mr Weedon said, if planning permission was granted, the new houses would be built around one of the setts.

He added the company would apply to Natural England, a wildlife management and licensing service, to move the badgers.

A final decision is being deferred by the council until a report is drawn up on the badger situation.