Plans would ‘destroy’ wood

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An MP has joined the hundreds of people objecting to controversial plans for a service station on an ancient wood.

Sarah Champion, who represents Rotherham, has written to Sheffield Council outlining concerns about the plans for a £40 million motorway service area at junction 35 of the M1.

Objectors say the plans would have an adverse effect on Smithy Wood near Chapeltown, which dates back to 1161.

She said: “On the environmental impact of the proposed development, my major concern is protecting the ancient woodland of Smithy Wood, much of which would be lost if this development were to go ahead.

“Already, much of this woodland has been lost or eroded, for instance when the M1 was constructed.

“Only a tiny proportion of the original, much larger, wood would be left following the site’s construction.

“I do not believe that the planting of new trees, as proposed, mitigates against the destruction of this ancient wildlife habitat.”