Eighty-four nightingales may have scuppered the biggest housing project in Medway.
For 18 years a new town with 5,000 homes and 5,000 jobs has been earmarked for the former army base at Lodge Hill, near Hoo.
But in a surprise move its wildlife has been given a top protection order - so the scheme's been delayed.
Natural England, a government agency, has made Lodge Hill a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) after a survey found rare nightingales flooded in after the army left, largely protected by the site's 7ft fence.
More top news
Monday's weather for the east
Monday's weather for the west
Philippa has the latest weather update for the east