4 December 2017

Chatham residents battle to save trees

CrestwayLocal residents have mounted a campaign to protect a parcel of land behind Crestway, Chatham which has been sold to a private developer.  The land which provides habitats for wildlife is under threat as the new owner has opted to clear the site, cutting down a number of trees.

Medway Green Party has been contacted by a Crestway resident who said:

“This land has been untouched for at least 50 years and is made up of a number of trees and bushes and is home to numerous animals. Among those supported by these habitats are bats, which have been here for a number of years, slow worms, hedgehogs, foxes, squirrels and birds to name but a few.

“The landowner is aware of this but has chosen to clear the site.  It is devastating to the whole community. It will affect the community centre which is adjacent to the land, where a well established playgroup has had nature walks alongside this land looking at the wildlife and foliage”.

Marilyn Stone, spokesperson for Medway Green Party commented:

“We would strongly urge Medway Council to introduce a Tree Preservation Order (at least in the short term) so that this matter can be fully investigated.  Bats in particular are a protected species and no one should have the right to threaten their habitats.

“It is also of concern that land which has been such an asset to the local community and has been used to introduce young children to nature for so many years is now under threat”.

“We also understand that there are possible safety issues to excavating the land as removal of trees could affect the stability of the site as well as potentially exposing asbestos and other contaminants.  It is imperative that the Council acts in the interests of the whole community”.

A petition is being organised by residents in preparation for a meeting with Medway Council Officers, including the Council’s Tree Officer, which is due to take place on Thursday 7th December.  The two Labour Councillors are also providing active support to residents.