Six Acres of Woodland Destroyed Over Weekend

As many of you will be aware 6 acres of woodland has been cut down illegally between Horley and Gatwick Airport off Balcombe Road. The destructive act happened on November 28th and is being investigated by the police and Forestry Commission. The site is proposed as a business park in a joint venture between Reigate and Banstead Council and Millhill ltd. but does not have planning permission to begin the development. The council has claimed to be unaware of the plans to illegally deforest the area and has placed tree protection orders on the remaining trees. While nothing can bring back the lost original woodland, East Surrey Green Party is in contact with local residents to investigate this incident and seek means to prevent it happening in other places. Please leave a comment down below if you wish your ideas on how this can be achieved to be included.

Devastation at the site. Source: Surrey Mirror – Grahame Larter

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3 Comments

  1. Christine Wood
    Posted December 21, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    The people responsible for this destruction should be heavily financially penalised and made to plant twice as many saplings to replace the trees destroyed. This may deter this happening in the future. The Council should be investigated as I do not believe they knew nothing about this as they are hand in glove with the developers.

  2. Joanna Barnett
    Posted December 21, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    RBBC have only put TPO’s on the 6 acres site not the wider business park site. They have declined to place them on the wider 72 acre site…” A TPO will be issued once the full survey has been carried out. This will be completed prior to any planning application being put forward and any application will have to take into account the protected trees that the survey has identified.”
    Which was in response to my question …”I have just had a look on the Council’s mapping system and noted that the TPO’s that you arranged to be placed on the Horley Business Park site are still only on Meadowcroft House. I remember that you said that they would be going on the whole of the business park site but they do not appear to be listed as such yet. I understand that these things normally take time to do but from the response time on the Meadowcroft site, it is clear that it can be done quickly. Given the situation I was a little surprised and disappointed to see that the trees still aren’t protected. Please would you be able to confirm when the TPO’s are going to be applied? “

  3. Sara Marchant
    Posted December 22, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I live directly opposite the site and have much evidence, having spoken to the contractors on site at the time. I can also prove that the Information Officer at RBBC lied when he refused a Freedom of Information Act request, for copies of ecological surveys, saying none had been commissioned by either RBBC or the Joint Venture.

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