CAMPAIGNERS behind the Protecting Pershore’s Woodland Group have launched an e-petition on Wychavon District Council’s website to formally request that the proposal to build 450 houses in the fields adjoining Tiddesley Wood are withdrawn from the South Worcestershire Development Plan.
Their latest effort follows eight weeks of active campaigning during the consultation period in November which saw two peaceful protests of nearly 300 people held both at the Civic Centre and the SWDP exhibition.
Despite numerous attempts being rejected by planners to build on the existing dwelling on Orchard Farm, Defford Road over the past 13 years, the site is now earmarked in the SWDP for a residential estate of 450 houses combined with neighbouring fields which run from Holloway along the top of existing developments in Three Springs Road down to Tiddesley Wood creating a total of 552 new homes for Pershore.
Residents are asking Wychavon to remove the land at Orchard Farm off Defford Road to protect the ancient woodland and its wildlife. Tiddesley Wood was formed after the last Ice Age and is more than 6,000 years old.
It is home to the rare noble chafer beetle, horseshoe bats and many other protected wildlife.
Pershore Town Council voted unanimously in November to reject the proposal and the Facebook group has more than 1,500 active members.
Newly re-elected MP Harriett Baldwin, herself a member of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust who own the Woodland, is also supporting the petition.
Speaking on the issue she said: “I encourage as many people as possible to sign the Wychavon e-petition to illustrate the strength of feeling on this issue. I have written myself and have spoken to the leader of Wychavon as well on behalf of all my constituents who have written to me with their grave concerns.”
Former Chairman of Wychavon District Council and fellow campaigner Coun Val Wood said “I am delighted to see our Member of Parliament is fully behind our protests at the potential desecration our ancient woodland and adjoining fields.
“I have yet to meet anyone who is in favour of it. I urge everyone to help us stop this ludicrous proposal and help us to preserve our 6,000 year old woodland and protect its wildlife.
“Climate crisis is real and we need to act now by holding Westminster to their election promises and doing all we can to save our environment,” she added.
Visit http://mgov.wychavon.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=24&TPID=2917435 by next Friday (February 14) for more.