Fear of woodland cull angers residents

FURIOUS residents living beside woodland near the heart of Ipswich have vowed to fight on after an application to fell more than half the trees near their homes was submitted.

FURIOUS residents living beside woodland near the heart of Ipswich have vowed to fight on after an application to fell more than half the trees near their homes was submitted.

Just weeks after developers Woodberry Properties were denied planning permission to build homes on the land behind The Beeches, near Bishop's Hill, they have submitted a new application.

One of the reasons the original application was unanimously rejected by Ipswich Council's development control committee was the value of the woodland – recognised in the town's Local Plan.

Now Woodberry have responded by submitting an application to fell 74 of the 110 trees on the site.

The trees it wants to fell are where it had wanted to build the new homes.

Its application for permission to remove the protected trees claims they are in poor condition and could be a danger to anyone in the area.

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However local residents are furious at the application

and have vowed to fight it.

"This is a tremendously valuable wildlife site, the trees are up to 100 years old and provide a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife," said wildlife expert Linda Hart of nearby Cavendish Street.

"I have a bat roost in my house, and they feed in the woods – there are woodpeckers, many different species of birds, frogs, toads and newts in the ponds – it is a real wildlife haven."

David Crofts of The Beeches warned that the loss of the wood would also affect the rest of the area.

"The trees soak up water, and if they were reduced it could undermine the banks here – endangering the homes at the top of the slope," he said.

Head of development control at Ipswich Council, Mike Smith, said the application would be considered by the borough's tree experts – but did not think there would be a major change in attitude to that expressed in July unless dramatic new evidence was supplied by the applicant.

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