15th Apr, 2021

Ancient woods could be fully protected by green policy after campaign success

AN ANCIENT woodland site which nearly became housing looks set to become fully protected by a green space policy.

Meon Vale woods, described as a ‘green lung’ by residents, was initially identified as a ‘reserved housing site’ by Stratford District Council. Its status was then elevated to a ‘site specific proposal’ last year, amid development plans proposed by house-builder St Modwen.

However, the move faced fierce opposition from campaign group Friends of Meon Vale, and the developer subsequently pulled its housing plans for the 80 acre site.

Planning officers have now recommended the housing allocation should be removed and that a Local Green Space policy be applied.

At a recent Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) meeting, an amendment to the wording in the recommendations was proposed to ensure the entire site was protected, as opposed to the original description which included the phrase ‘some or entire’.

The proposal was made by Coun Edward Fitter, and seconded by Coun Susan Juned, following suggestions from Welford ward councillor Maunela Perteghella and The Meon Vale Residents Association.

Coun Fitter said: “My amendment at the OSC means the entirety of the site is going to be safeguarded and protected by council policy – should Cabinet and council accept. This policy is unrecognisable, to which was originally proposed in October 2020. By working together we can change and shape policies for the better.”

Stratford District Council’ Cabinet will consider the recommendations and the amendment at a meeting on Monday (April 12).

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