Campaigners fighting to prevent houses being built within a popular community woodland in Meon Vale, are making another appeal to councillors to kill off the plan.
Last week the Cabinet at Stratford District Council voted to include approve a draft version of its Site Allocations Plan (SAP), with the addition of the woodland site in Meon Vale as a housing site.
However that decision will need to be approved at tomorrow’s (Monday) Full Council meeting before the district council can look towards launching a public consultation into the SAP.
A group called the Friends of Meon Vale Woodland Walk, has been formed by residents angered by plans from developer St Modwen to build up to 300 homes within the woodland.
They argue the woodland has been a lifeline, especially during the pandemic, and say it was actually marketed as a selling point when many originally bought their homes.
In an attempt to get the woodland site removed before that stage, the Friends of Meon Vale Woodland Walk have invited all councillors to visit the woodland prior to Monday’s meeting.
A letter from the group to councillors said: “You now have a big decision to take which will affect the ambiance of the new community. Before you take the decision on the future of the woodland at Council on 19 October, we want to invite you to take a guided tour through the Meon Vale Woods so that you can appreciate them and consider the consequences of allocating them for housing development.
“The woods contain 35 acres of native woodland that has been identified as a potential Local Wildlife Site because it is an important breeding site for birds.
“You have probably seen David Attenborough’s film where in answer to a question about what we can do to help save our planet, he urges us to put nature at the heart of our decisions. When you come to make your decision on the allocation of the woods for housing development, be sure you can honestly with hand on heart say ‘I am happy to agree to hundreds of trees being cut down with all the associated wildlife being lost.’
“The woods are a lifeline for the people who live in Meon Vale, nearby villages and Stratford. More and more people have come to rely on them for their daily exercise and for a place of peace and mental relaxation. Our local GPs are supporting our campaign. Please vote against housing on the woodland unless you can say ‘I am not concerned about the health and wellbeing of the people who walk in these woods daily.’
“Our school is growing and the children visit the woods regularly as part of their learning. If you agree to the loss of the woods, please be prepared to come to the school and explain to our children why it is a good decision.
“You are aware of the views of the people about the proposed allocation of the woods for the development of 300 houses. Be assured that we will continue to campaign against any development in the woods.”