David Beckham faces a race against time to get his controversial lake built at their £6m Cotswolds mansion

DAVID Beckham faces a race against time to get his controversial wildlife lake underway – or he’ll be sunk and workers will have to down tools.

Planners have given the giant water feature the green light – despite objections from neighbours.

But Becks and wife Victoria have been asked to file a raft of reports on how the water feature will be lit and managed before work can start.

They will also be required to carry out a bat survey.

And they’ve been told that workers can only be on site between August and February to protect nesting birds.

That means if the work isn’t complete by February of next year, the workers will have to stand down until the following August.

A document granting planning permission reveals: “Please note that this consent does not override the statutory protection afforded to species protected under the terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended), or any other relevant legislation such as the Wild Mammals Act 1996 and Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

“All British birds (while nesting, building nests, sitting on eggs and feeding chicks), their nests and eggs (with certain limited exceptions) are protected by law under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

“Works that will impact upon active birds' nests should be undertaken outside the breeding season to ensure their protection, i.e. works should only be undertaken between August and February, or only after the chicks have fledged from the nest.”

The couple pair have put forward a raft of major updates to their £6million Cotswolds home this year including a 24-hour security gatehouse, an underground tunnel and wine cellar.

Local resident Michael Douglas voiced his concerns about the lake in an email to the council having previously objected to the gatehouse.

He wrote: “I now note a further new application has been submitted regarding the Beckham’s Barn, regarding change of use of land to extend the residential curtilage and installation of ‘a heart shaped pond’.

“What they appear to want is to bring suburbia into the countryside, if they had wanted all they have applied for why not find an estate which was big enough to accommodate all of this.”

The council also wants them to make underground chambers – called hibernacula – for animals like hedgehogs to hibernate.

The local council’s assistant biodiversity officer Esther Frizell-Armitage said in a report to planning chiefs: “The scheme should ensure that fish are not introduced into the pond to provide suitable habitat for species such as great crested newts.

“I further recommend that hibernacula is created to provide additional opportunities for species such as reptiles, amphibians and hedgehogs.

“A comprehensive landscaping scheme will need to be prepared to detail the above habitat features that are to be created, along with a 5-year maintenance plan.

“All works should be carried out in accordance with the statement to ensure that harm to reptiles and amphibians is avoided.

“Furthermore, I recommend that a sensitive external lighting strategy is prepared to ensure that the existing and proposed habitat features on site (e.g. the wildlife pond, the native hedgerows, trees, wildflower meadow area and bunds) are not illuminated by the external lighting as this can disturb commuting and foraging bat species.

“The details of the external lighting should be submitted as a condition of planning consent.”

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