About three months ago, the discovery of an endangered spider forced a construction project worth $15 million (€11.6 million / ₤9.33 million) to come to a standstill.As surprising as this may sound, it looks like some newts have recently engaged in a rather similar course of action and have ended up delaying the construction of a shopping center whose worth is estimated at about ₤90 million ($144.6 million / €110.65 million).
Said shopping center, whose design encompasses stores for major brands and retailers such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Next, was supposed to witness its foundation being laid sometime this month in an area located on the outskirts of York, England.
However, according to Construction Enquirer, throughout the course of the past summer months, several of these amphibians (nine, to be more precise) decided to turn the construction site into their breeding area, until their population soared to roughly 300 individuals.
Faced with this situation, the team of construction workers in charge of carrying out this project agreed that the only thing left for them to do was to halt all activities and sit around and wait until the newts came out of hibernation. Once this happens, they plan to trap and relocate them.
Richard France, one of the people in charge of overseeing the construction of this shopping center, commented on this unusual and somewhat funny situation as follows:
“Naturally, I’m disappointed that work cannot start as early as we would have liked it to. However, as developers, we take our responsibility to the environment seriously and are making sure that all the newts are appropriately rehomed in line with our legal requirements.”
In case anyone was wondering, it seems that this newts population boom came as a result of a particularly wet spring, which allowed the amphibians to breed as they saw fit in some trenches that were created while carrying out an archaeological survey for this area.