A nature reserve home to endangered species is at risk after a council approved a temporary lorry route right through it.

Fairlop Waters Country Park is under threat, despite Redbridge Council having previously promising that it would “ensure there is no net loss of biodiversity on large development sites.”

The nature reserve is home to rare London wildlife, including the long eared owl, skylark and spotted flycatcher.

But the proposed haulage route through it will see up to 180 Brett Tarmac Ltd trucks pass by every day to extract gravel from a nearby pit.

The reserve is also home to the protected great crested newt. Under UK law it is an offence to destroy or damage the habitat of this species.

Mathew Frith, director of conservation at the London Wildlife Trust said: “The proposed haulage route will cause extensive damage to important wildlife habitats, and will undoubtedly impact heavily on the wildlife that brings such joy to local people.

“We have worked with Redbridge Council and Brett Tarmac Ltd on the longer-term restoration of land at Fairlop to conserve the area’s natural assets, and therefore strongly urge Redbridge Council to think again, and to stand up for the wildlife it said it would protect.

“We are happy to advise Brett Tarmac and Redbridge Council further on these matters to ensure that Fairlop’s ecological assets can be effectively sustained into the future.”

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “This planning application went through the normal planning procedures which included site notices, advertisements in press, letters to neighbours, public consultation and a planning committee meeting.

“Before development can proceed, we will be working closely with our partners and environmental agencies to ensure that the relevant planning conditions relating to biodiversity and vehicle movement are discharged.”