Thursday, May 30, 2024

Stansted woodland set to be bulldozed for houses

A WOODED plantation near Stansted Airport will be demolished to make way for 30 homes reports the Local Democracy Reporter.

The 3.4 hectares site, located on the south-eastern side of High Lane and situated to the north-eastern edge of Stansted Mountfitchet village was planted in 1996 under a forestry commission Woodland Grant Scheme for commercial timber production

The agreement became part of a Farm Woodland Premium Scheme over a 25-year scheme after the end of which the land could revert back to its former use.

Centrally within the site there are large oak trees which are covered by Tree Preservation Orders and cannot be removed.

Officers says the development will have “limited impact” on the landscape while bringing economic befits and contribute the council’s housing need – its housing land supply currently standing at 4.89 years below the five years required of councils.

The site is about 500 metres from where 350 homes are being planned on agricultural land north of Walpole Meadows, by Pegasus Group on behalf of developers Bloor Homes.

There has been opposition to the development of the plantation over the destruction of natural habitat.

Councillor Allen Dean (Lib Dem, Stansted North) told Uttlesford planning committee on July 5: “It should be renamed woodland east of High Lane. In my parish little woodland remains. This woodland is the core of Stansted Mountfitchet and therefore in my opinion it should remain.”

He added: “The wood is a home for wildlife. We saw badgers setts. It is a place where true nature resides alongside people and our fellow citizens. There is plenty of land elsewhere that could be built on.

“This council does have a problem created by its out of date local plan and there are other ways of resolving that besides destroying Stansted Mountfitchet’s limited supply of urban woodland.”

Developer agent Andrew Martin on behalf of Pembridge Land Group Limited said: “This woodland is a commercial plantation. It is not ingenious natural woodland.

“It is clear the scheme was planned so that trees could be felled for commercial purposes. A large proportion of the trees were conifers planted as nurse trees and many other were ash which are now suffering from dieback.”

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