WATER voles are holding back plans to build three floodlit tennis courts in a Glasgow park.

About £215,000 of funding has been secured for the Garrowhill Park project, which received planning permission in April last year.

However, work cannot begin until the voles, living in burrows on the site, are re-homed.

Glasgow Life, which delivers sports facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council, is considering its options, with a report revealing the organisation is likely to require a license from Scottish Natural Heritage to relocate the voles.

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The final piece of funding for the courts was secured in June when Tennis Scotland confirmed £50,000, following on from a £115,000 commitment by the city council and £50,000 from sportscotland.

A report to Baillieston Area Partnership, a council committee, states an ecological survey – by Cairn Ecology – found the earliest possible window of oppor­tunity for the relocation of the voles is thought to be March/April next year.

It found six burrows in the north east corner of the site, with around 30 burrows identified over 11 yards outside the site’s southern boundary.

The license would “permit the destruction of the burrows” if the work will contribute to “significant social, economic or environmental benefit”, there is no satisfactory alternative and no significant negative impact on the conservation status of the species.

Cairn Ecology recommends relocating the water voles to the already-colonised area to the south of where the tennis courts will be built.

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A site investigation is also required which will assess soil composition, check for contaminated materials and establish whether historical mining operations will have any impact on construction.

The city council’s report states: “In the event that construction works cannot commence until April 2020 at the earliest, Glasgow Life will explore all options for conducting as many advance works as possible ahead of that date.

“Our funding partners at Tennis Scotland and sportscotland are being kept informed of the site-specific challenges that have emerged and if necessary, revised start and completion dates will be agreed.”