The woodland trust say that 4 hectares (10 acres) of irreplaceable ancient woodland will be destroyed if a planning application to build 200 holiday homes and other leisure facilities near Whitby if it is allowed to go ahead.
The applicant, Yorkshire Ventures (Estates) Ltd, already owner of neighbouring hotel Raithwaite Hall, is proposing to build 64 cottages, 72 apartments, 64 forest lodges, a restaurant, swimming pool, gym, tennis court, cafe, crèche and shop. Additional car parking, roads and footpaths including landscaping and ancillary works have also been put forward.
The woodland species includes ash, poplar, field maple, lime and oak, with an elder, hazel and hawthorn understorey. Ancient woodland indicator species found there include redcurrant, bluebell and honeysuckle.
The trust has objected to the proposals that lie on the border of the North York Moors National Park and is calling for an Environmental Impact Assessment to be carried out – a measure that Scarborough Borough Council failed to request from the developer and are urging locals to do the same before Scarborough Borough Council’s consultation closes on February 8th.
Oliver Newham, Woodland Trust Campaigner, said:“This is the worst application of its type that we have seen in some years and we’d urge everyone to write and object to it before the February 8th deadline.
“It’s shocking that the Council have so far deemed an Environmental impact Assessment unnecessary when the scale of the development will undoubtedly have a huge impact on ancient woodland and wildlife.
“This is yet another example of how planning policy is failing ancient woodland with developers either ignoring or being unaware of Government guidance1 that states the need to avoid this irreplaceable habitat.”
Find out more about the Trust’s campaign here: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/campaigning