What about the objectors?

I read with interest the article that appeared in last week's Star (June 7) trumpeting the achievement of Extra Motorway Service Area Group in attracting 29 letters of support for their proposal to build within Smithy Wood near Chapeltown.

Friday, 17th June 2016, 6:29 am
Updated Friday, 17th June 2016, 7:33 am
Plans for an M! service station at Smithy Wood have stirred up controversy

While this is indeed an impressive accomplishment, I would like to draw readers’ attention to the devastating impacts of the proposal. More than five hectares of ancient woodland is under threat, the size of eight football pitches. Indeed this 800-year-old woodland is irreplaceable, both for local people and the wildlife it contains.

So while Extra is to be congratulated upon their small degree of support, it should perhaps be judged alongside the objections thousands of local residents, MPs and conservation organisations.

Indeed just through our website we know 8,300 people have signed a petition against the scheme, and 6,000 more have officially objected to the city council.

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Oliver Newham

Lead campaigner, Woodland Trust