Rules come into force next month

Planning rules passed by Brighton and Hove council will require new developments to contain so-called ’swift bricks’ to encourage nesting birds.

A minimum of three swift bricks per dwelling will be needed to meet the new conditions, agreed by council members earlier this month.

Shaped like bricks, the nesting boxes (pictured) can be incorporated into new developments and contain a small hole for the birds to enter and exit.

Swift Brick 1

The rule will apply to all new developments above 5m high and is due to be attached to all planning permissions granted after 1 April.

Commercial developments will also be subject to the new conditions, which will require one swift brick per 50sq m of floor space.

Swifts often make their nests in the rooftops of buildings after their annual 6,000 mile migration from Africa each spring.

But modern building methods have been blamed for reducing suitable nesting sites for the birds, which have declined from 150,000 pairs to 90,000 over the past 20 years.

Councillor Alan Robins said the council’s planning officers “have come up with a simple scheme that will increase biodiversity and encourage wildlife to thrive in our city”.

The nesting facilities, which can also accommodate sparrows, starlings, blue tits and great tits, will join ’bee bricks’ in Brighton and Hove’s planning rules.

At least one bee brick – which are dotted with holes for the bees to fly in and out of – per dwelling has been required for new developments since November last year.