Fighting to save field from 80 acres of plastic tunnels

The no campaigners who live in the beautifully quiet and unspoilt Park Copse.LA1600069-1 SUS-150704-124819008
The no campaigners who live in the beautifully quiet and unspoilt Park Copse.LA1600069-1 SUS-150704-124819008

RESIDENTS have flocked to object to a plan to build 80 acres of conservation tunnels, on a field loved by walkers, birdwatchers and wildlife.

About 80 people have officially objected to an application to erect polytunnels for farming organisation Langmead Group, in Park Farm Barn, Selsey.

John Stone, of East Beach Road, said: “I can’t understand how it can be allowed to come forward as an application and I think this sort of thing is a great loss of the amenity for the locals.

“The area’s visited by a lot of tourists who come for the openness and beauty of the view which will be lost.

“This land really needs to be left open , not be covered up with plastic sheets.”

Karen Gill, of Park Lane – which backs on to the site – wrote a letter of objection to the council which said: “This development can be seen from Park Lane, and will be an eyesore destroying the character of a naturally beautiful part of our community.

“Many members of our community use the public right of way which serves as a peaceful walk for birdwatchers, walkers and dog-walkers.

“Turning this area from a natural scene into something more like an industrial intensive farming zone will rob the local community of a valuable leisure space.”

She said the site would remove a flood plain from the back of her property and she was also concerned for the deer living on the site which led her to question if a full wildlife survey had been conducted.

Julie Davenport, of Park Copse, said the adjacent Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve was ‘an extremely important national resource for wintering wildfowl and waders which use the field whenever possible’.

In its planning application, Harrington Design Architects said the site is ‘generally well screened’ with trees and a mature hedgerow – but where houses back onto the site, tunnels will be set back 32m and hedges will be reinforced with native species.

It also proposed to provide a six to eight meter ‘buffer strip’ to create a ‘natural habitat’ for wild species.