OVER 50 protected trees could be bulldozed under plans to build new housing in Cawston.
As part of an application to build up to 275 homes on land south of Coventry Road, developer DB Symmetry unveiled a plan to cut down trees at Brickyard Spinney – near the roundabout with the A4071 bypass – to create a new access road.
The application states: “It is acknowledged that the proposals will result in the loss of trees covered by a protection order. However, this harm is balanced by the delivery of part of the traffic spine network required in the new Local Plan and the benefits of the provision of housing.
“The proposals represent a considerable opportunity to provide substantial habitat and faunal enhancements within the site which will in turn give rise to considerable gains for biodiversity.”
Ros Bray used to own the site along with her late husband, whose ashes were scattered there.
She said: “Do these tree protection orders mean nothing any more? Some of these trees are over 100 years old.
“We tried to keep it a natural habitat for animals and birds. We made and erected bird boxes which were used regularly.
“This spinney is home to the green woodpecker, lesser and greater spotted woodpeckers, blue tits, great tits and tree creepers. Even the buzzard nested regularly in one of the oak trees.
“Do we have to cut down all trees for the sake of a few extra houses?”
Lee Chase described the plan as ‘wanton destruction’.
He added: “I am not against the building of houses, but I believe we have a responsibility to protect and enhance habitats that can take hundreds of years to develop when doing so.”
Sarah Maclean said the trees should be given the same ancient and protected status as nearby Cawston Spinney.
She said: “It’s a shameless disgrace that they have even applied to do such a scheme. We simply cannot let this access road happen.”
Tim Kyte said it went against the local character of the area, and would harm access to wildlife for all Cawston, Bilton and Dunchurch residents.
“This is a total non-compliance with local ecology planning policy and must not be allowed to go ahead in any form,” he added.
And Karl Curtis, director of reserves and community engagement at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Given that Brickyard Spinney is an established local woodland, if there was an opportunity to change the access design into the development we would welcome that.
“We would support further consideration to offer protection of this wild area. ”
The site is so named because clay was dug there in the 19th century to make bricks for a nearby brickworks.