Please object to plans to destroy the ancient woodland at Smithy Wood to build a service station for the M1.
The Woodland Trust are coordinating an excellent campaign and encourage you to register on the Council website and object here.
Graham Wroe has objected as follows.
I am writing to object to the plans to destroy ancient woodland at Smithy Wood and replace it with a service station for the M1.
Smithy Wood is ancient. A history of the Wood shows it is at least 850 years old. Ancient woods are irreplaceable. They cannot be re-created or moved elsewhere. New tree planting cannot replace what would be lost and will never amount to a habitat of the same ecological value as ancient woodland.
Paragraph 118 of the National Planning Policy Framework says…
“Planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.”
Smithy Wood is within Sheffield’s Green Belt. It has been designated as a local wildlife site. These sites are important because they are selected for their
local nature conservation value and they protect threatened species and habitats.
The wood is a haven for a wide range of ancient woodland flora, fungi, bats, butterflies and birds (some on the red-list, meaning they are of the highest conservation priority). If Smithy Wood is fragmented further, many of these species face habitat loss and an increased erosion of the green corridors they need to move and thrive in.
Paragraph 81 of the National Planning Policy Framework says…
“Once Green Belts have been defined, local planning authorities should plan positively to enhance the beneficial use of the Green Belt, such as looking for
opportunities to provide access; to provide opportunities for outdoor sport and recreation; to retain and enhance landscapes, visual amenity and
biodiversity; or to improve damaged and derelict land.”
Smithy Wood represents an important green space to local people living in Chapeltown, Ecclesfield, Thorpe Hesley and the wider Sheffield area.
It is used by ramblers, youth organisations, bird watchers and those that simply want to get out and enjoy nature. Smithy Wood is a vital resource.
In fact local people value it so much that an application to register Smithy Wood as a Village Green has been submitted by a local action group on behalf of the community.
In 2007 Sheffield was hit by terrible floods. We should be planting more woods and forests to help prevent this in the future, not destroying what little
ancient forest we have left.
If it is really necessary to build a new service station I am sure there must be brownfield sites nearby which would be far preferable.
Kaye Horsfield has objected as follows
I continue to object to this proposal even more so given the adverse impact on Chapeltown air quality of the trees being cut down by Recycoal before they abandoned the adjacent site Irreplaceable ancient woodland is just that – once gone it’s gone forever. There are enough motorway services on the M1 already but if another is required surely there must be brown sites available which would not threaten ancient woodland used by locals as a green lung and part of our buffer against the pollution from the M1 which will only be worsened by cars stopping and starting at a services. The jobs on offer will nearly all be minimum wage service jobs probably on zero hours contracts. The labour market of Chapeltown can support much higher quality jobs than these. This development is not needed and is positively detrimental to the area by promising to add to air pollution, traffic congestion whilst being detrimental to the quality of life of Chapeltown and Ecclesfield residents. Sheffield council, get it right this time and turn down this application. We can really do without another developer ploughing up our woodland then moving on as the market changes, as Recycoal have done across the road