Rugby nature reserve will be restored after power company 'destruction', says council - The Rugby Observer

Rugby nature reserve will be restored after power company 'destruction', says council

Rugby Editorial 20th Apr, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

FEARS a Hillmorton beauty spot has been ‘destroyed’ by an energy firm have been allayed after Rugby Borough Council said the utility company was obliged to restore it after work finishes.

Western Power began replacing overhead power lines at Linnell Road Open Space last week, prompting alarm at the potential impact on the nature reserve.

Mike Sharp of Lower Hillmorton Road told The Observer: “Contractors are replacing overhead power lines, using heavy and inappropriate equipment and tearing the paths to pieces. They are also gaily chopping down large trees.

“The power lines were merely being replaced, but the adjacent trees were suddenly regarded a hazard by some faceless person.”

And Coun Jerry Roodhouse, who represents Paddox ward on the council, said the company had ‘destroyed’ the nature reserve by felling trees and churning up paths.

But a spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said a ‘small number of trees’ had to be removed to meet safety standards, adding Western Power would restore the site when work was complete.

He said: “Utility companies have a legal right to access land in order to carry out work. However, the council has a licence agreement with Western Power Distribution under which the company has committed to carrying out all necessary work to return the open space to its former state once it has finished on site.

“We have spoken to Western Power this week regarding the issues caused by the work and the company has reaffirmed its commitment to the terms of the licence agreement.”

The 26-acre Linnell Road Open Space – owned by the council since 1953 – comprises open grassland, scrub areas, mature trees, riverside paths, wetlands and a willow copse.

The council is developing a bluebell wood, cycle routes and riverside walks at the site, and develops habitats to encourage wildlife into the area.


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