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‘HORROR’, as ancient woodland is felled in Pound Hill



Residents in Pound Hill are furious as contractors literally “ripped up” an ancient woodland site behind their houses yesterday.

Burleys Wood has been left devastated as contractors descended with lorries and a digger before felling a huge area of the woodland. The full extent of the devastation left is bewildering as our photos show.

UPDATE: Shock as application for housing on ancient woodland in Poundhill is received

Despite a preservation order being issued the damage caused by the work looks irreparable.

More News: Devastated Burleys Wood appears to be not the only site stripped by Landowner

“I cant believe that someone so callous can do something like this, then walk away as if nothing has happened

One resident, Paul Schauerman explained what he saw:

“There was large low loader parked outside our house, I didn’t think anything of it as there was another one further up the road but when I came round the house there was a huge digger coming off a lorry.

A little later I looked out the window and noticed the digger coming down between our house and our neighbours.

I rushed out to speak to them and they said there was an extension being built at the other end of the terrace house and when I asked why are coming this way and they said we cannot get in the other end.”

“When i came back just after lunch virtually all the woods had disappeared, so I got onto the council and they said they didn’t know anything about it but there are people from the council down there.

I eventually saw council people there taking photos but they told me they didn’t know what was going on as they said there was no planning permission given.  At this point they were still working and when asked the council people said the only thing they could do was tell them to stop and go away which is what they finally did but it was too late.

The contractors had huge mats to go over the land to try to stop churning up the ground but it did nothing and now it looks like a tank course.”

“I don’t want to be causing upset”

CN24 spoke to the contractor to explain their actions.

The owner who asked not to be named explained that he was confused and even said:

“I don’t want to be causing upset.”

He explained that their services had been hired and when he asked his client if they were allowed to do the work he was told no felling license was required.

He explained that the job had been to clear some Silver Birch Trees but not to touch a couple of large trees that had preservation orders on them.

More news: Northgate residents forced to clear up Drug Den Alleys themselves right behind the Town Hall

He also said that they had been given a clearly defined line and were to stop outside the canopy of the TPO trees.  The area to clear was about 30-35 metres.

The contractor was clearly anxious about what had happened adding, “we just hire out equipment.”

This morning (15th Feb) a planning application was received for housing to be built on the site.  Read about this here.

Crawley Council have said that they are investigating the situation urgently and will update people as soon as they can.

When asked how he felt about what had happened Mr Schauerman said:

“Horror, I feel raped, I know it’s an easy thing to say but its a nice area with the woods and with all the privacy, and all of a sudden its just gone.

I cant believe that someone so callous can do something like this, then walk away as if nothing has happened.

My wife spoke to the Forestry Commission but the man responsible for the area is on holiday but they were shocked.

There’s even a lady whos house is up for sale and they are in danger of losing the sale as the buyers loved the view.

All the neighbours are up in arms about it.”

With the council and now the Forestry commission investigating it will not be long before answers to much sought after questions come to light, but in the meantime Pound Hill has been left with a barren mud plain where beautiful ancient woodland once lay.

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Council have plans in place for ‘Beast from the East’

Salting operations are to continue throughout the period; snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.



Yellow warnings for snow in Crawley have been issued by the Met Office until Wednesday. Photo: MetOffice

Snowfall will be effecting most of the country over the forthcoming week and the Met Office have issued yellow weather warnings for snow as well as amber warnings for some areas.

Following these warnings, West Sussex County Council have said they have plans in place to keep main roads open.

A West Sussex Highways spokesman said:

“Precautionary salting operations will continue throughout the period and snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.

More news: Crawley private hire driver guilty of operating illegally

“We are therefore advising Town and Parish Councils to be prepared to enact their Winter Management Plans IF and when we issue an instruction to do so.”

A further update will be issued later today.

The County Council’s winter campaign website page has several sections giving advice on ‘staying warm’ please click here.

If you know or look after someone who may be susceptible to the effects of this cold weather period, please help ensure they stay warm and well and check in advance that they are prepared for this cold spell.

WSCC have offered some general advice including:

• Stay tuned in to weather forecasts.
• Check and maintain daytime room temperatures of 21°C.
• Check bedroom night-time temperatures and maintain it at 18°C or warmer.
• Keep warm and active and, if you have to go out, dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes.
• If you are concerned about your own health or welfare, or that of others, please alert the emergency services – details: emergency services.

Keep up to date with all the latest news.

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