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Days left to save Smithy Wood

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As many of you will know, a planning application has been submitted to build a new motorway service station on Smithy Wood, a designated Ancient Woodland and Local Wildlife Site in the green belt of Sheffield.

 

After halting the process for several months to allow Extra MSA to submit additional supporting documents, this Friday 13 November is now the final day for any other interested party to make their comments on the application, meaning there are just days remaining for you to have your say on the proposal.

 

The application is contrary to both national and local policy and strategies, and it's demonstrable by Department of Transport policy on MSAs that there is very little need for these services to outweigh the significant environmental harm caused by loss of these irreplaceable ancient woods.

 

Smithy Wood supports hundreds of different types of birds, bats, fungi, insects, plants and trees, with recent surveys revealing:

 

121 plant species including 19 ancient woodland indicators

222 fungi species, 57 lichen species and 37 mosses & liverworts

37 bird species including 5 red-listed and 7 amber-listed (of high conservation concern)

314 invertebrate species, making Smithy Wood a regionally important site

 

If you object to the application and want to save Smithy Wood, please submit an objection ASAP. It's important that you only object on planning grounds and refrain from emotional arguments. Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust have put together an excellent page of information - http://www.wildsheffield.com/smithywood - which lists many of the key reasons against the proposal in detail, so it won't take much time to use the information to make an objection in your own words.

 

1. Go to the Council’s planning portal here: http://publicaccess.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/ You will need to register to make an objection, or log in if you are already registered. Type or paste the application reference 14/01079/OUT where it says “Enter a keyword, reference number, postcode or single line of an address”

 

2. In your own words, briefly explain why you object to the planning application. Then cut and paste one or more of the points from below in ‘Reasons to Object’ e.g. Green Belt, Ecological Network, Ancient Woodland to back up your arguments. It is critical that you make your objection based on planning grounds for it to be considered. Click “Submit”. If you’d like email updates on the planning process, make sure you tick the box.

 

3. Share this page with concerned friends and relatives and ask them to lodge their objections too.

 

4. Raise the issue with your local councillor. Use the information provided on the website above to inform them about the different aspect of the issue and ask for their view. This is especially important if they sit on Sheffield City Council's Planning Committee as they will make the decision to refuse or approve the application. Click here to find out if your councillor sits on the planning committee.

 

5. There will also be a peaceful protest outside Sheffield Town Hall before the start of the Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday 19 January. Email mail@wildsheffield.com for further details.

 

Thank you.

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Thanks for sharing this - I will certainly lodge my complaints (on planning grounds) with the council.

 

It is my understanding that this application is partially being considered valid due to the new rules around 'Biodiversity Offsetting', whereby contentious applications can be granted if the developer agrees to recreate nearby what has been lost.

 

How it could be argued that ancient woodland, a finite and irreplaceable natural resource, could be 'recreated' elsewhere is beyond me.

 

Letting this application pass would set a dangerous precedent.

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Just a reminder that today is the final day for objections to be submitted to this application.

 

The Woodland Trust have provided the easiest way to do this - there's a form embedded on their website that will submit your objection to the Planning Department:

 

http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/our-campaigns/smithy-wood/planning-application/

 

---------- Post added 15-11-2015 at 15:18 ----------

 

I've just received confirmation from The Woodland Trust that the deadline for comments on this application has been extended to Monday 23 November.

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