I FEEL I must comment on the reply from the head of visible services Miles Punter to Cllr Richard Bertin (Barry & District News, April 17) regarding the tree felling clearance operations underwent in February at the Dyfan Road open space.
He reports ‘the area will be returned to its former state, the lagoon will be gated off when used for storage.’
The area will never be returned to its former state. It has yet to be excavated down then banked up around the whole field to attain any excess water during heavy rainfall. The footpath will be removed and repositioned along two banked up sides, approximately 125 mature trees have been felled in preparation and he says ‘trees will be planted and the area will be put back’. He said that after we were told ‘no’ trees would be replanted due to leaves blocking the culvert.
The area will never visually be the same again and its use will be limited. How can the lagoon be gated off? It is a public open space and if it is gated off then it will definitely be different. He also addressed the wildlife and lack of consultation. When he refers to the 2012 application that was for a smaller lagoon, which does not state that a mass of trees were to be cut down, that design received planning permission but was withdrawn. He says in 2012 he sent out 1200 letters to neighbouring properties, Rob Curtis states in a recent email to Jane Hutt’s office that 500 were sent out and yet on the deemed application of 2012 it states there were 68 letters sent out. Our property wasn’t sent one, neither our neighbour and we both back onto the field itself! I’d like to know where they got these figures from because if we had known then about a major development we would have attended that meeting regarding that lagoon.
The planning consent in 2012 is different to the latest plans that have yet to be presented, so those proposals would not apply to the recent clearance works that neighbouring properties received ‘no notice’ of until the last minute.
As for the wildlife issue, active nests were present on site at the time. I live here, I saw them and took photographs of them. Nonetheless all the trees, with nests and without visible nests were hacked to the ground under protest from myself and other members of the public who were clearly upset by it all. Yes, the deemed application of 2012 had a full independent ecology report, but that was two years ago and birds, bats and animals do change their routine and habitat, yet the council ecologist told me she has not done another survey prior to this work.
They call it flooding measures and yet we haven’t been flooded since the council maintained the drainage system after the 2007 floods. All this needless destruction of mature trees when the government are trying to promote trees to help combat flooding. . . it would appear that the people in charge here cannot seem to agree on their facts or their figures.