£1m to save non-existent newts
Council leader David Parsons fumed: "I'm not happy that we have gone a million pounds over on the bypass and then found no great crested newts.
Leicestershire County Council spent £1million dollars (US$1.9 million) and delayed a road building project for three months in order to protect a rare newt on the site. Problem was there weren't any crested newts on the site.
The action was taken on the strength of a report from environmental experts, which found there could have been between one and 10 of the 6in amphibians on the site.
An angered Parsons wrote the the Minister concerned who replied that "it's because of European Union Regulations.
Workers were even required to inspect the traps twice a day once temperatures rose above 41F (5C).
But Derek Needham, council engineering manager, confirmed: "We have caught a number of normal newts but no great crested newts."