Wildlife is lost as diggers move in
PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 May 2012
RESIDENTS of a Weston cul-de-sac were left ‘devastated’ after the land backing onto their gardens was stripped of its trees and wildlife.
The sloping piece of land at the rear of properties in Beechmount Close, owned by David Dodgson, is designated as an amenity site and included a number of wildlife habitats.
Now people have been left fearing that the land is no longer stable and, with recent bad weather, may slide into their gardens and homes below.
Resident and mother-of-two Susan Martin, aged 40, said she has stopped her children from playing in their own back garden.
She said: “I’m scared to let my children out. A bit of the land has slipped already and I’m afraid it’s going to come directly into the garden.
“We were all obviously devastated, it’s now an eyesore.”
A few residents contacted North Somerset Council immediately when they first spotted a digger on the land on April 24 and the work was stopped.
Mrs Martin said: “When we saw the digger the workmen said they were getting rid of brambles because they were a fire risk. We got the work stopped but when we came back half an hour later everything had already gone.
“It’s absolutely devastating and now it’s gone what can we do? It’s going to take years to grow back.”
Mr Dodgson has previously tried to build on the now desolate space, but a planning application was refused by the council in 2003, due to it being an amenity site.
After the land was cleared some of the site’s neighbours are claiming their properties have been affected.
Margaret Preddy, aged 76, said: “This has affected us very much, and another three or four houses along the road. Most of our fencing fell down and the remainder was blown down in the wind. It will cost more than £1,000 to replace.”
A council spokesman said: “We have been following concerns by the residents and officers have visited the site.
“Mr Dodgson is having some vegetation cleared and while there are some trees that are protected by the tree preservation boards, they are not affected by what he is doing.
“The area is designated as an amenity site but that does not mean that development could not take place. If a development would harm the amenity site it would be resisted.”
The complaints that have been made regarding the disturbance of wildlife have now become a police matter and are being investigated.
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