Posted: 28/03/2015 at 12:37
It's really up to all of us to do as much as we can to change the culture, perhaps by making representations direct to local planning authorities or via wildlife trusts or other local groups. Don't expect to win every situation, but believe me, there is a lot of support for the birds. We can use local news media to raise awareness. Larger companies have a lot to gain by being able to tick an 'environmental' box.
Gillian, your particular example is unfortunately typical of the lackadaisical approach of people who ought to know better. They should be made aware that Swifts leave very little evidence of nesting; what little material they use biodegrades very quickly and they take all the droppings away from the nest. The only evidence of nesting is really observation of adults and young. So the more records that we can provide the better.
4thPanda - it takes a while for Swifts to adopt nest sites, and a lot of the Swifts that are bombing around are young birds that are not yet breeding - they may not start till their 3rd or 4th year. They do tend to distract you from the nests that are in use! See the website for ways to attract Swifts.