Trust "disappointed and saddened" at fate of Hereford ancient wood

Herefordshire Council "played the part of judge, jury and executioner" by approving a road plan entailing the loss of ancient woodland and veteran trees, the Woodland Trust has said.

Grafton Wood - image: WTML
Grafton Wood - image: WTML

Herefordshire Council's planning committee approved the Southern Link Road planning application, linking the A49 and A465 to the south of Hereford as part of an eventual bypass of the entire city, on 6 June.

"We are left disappointed and saddened by the outcome of the meeting, though based on the circumstances of the application we would be hard-pressed to say it was an unexpected result," according to the trust's campaigner Jack Taylor.

"We extend no end of gratitude and sympathy to those locals who fought so diligently in trying to protect the ancient woods and veteran trees south of Hereford." Over 1,200 residents registered objections to the application, he added.

The trust said earlier that three ancient woods would suffer "considerable damage and loss" from the proposal, with Grafton Wood, an area of ancient wood pasture, losing at least half a hectare, and other veteran trees also adversely impacted by the scheme.

Councillor Philip Price, cabinet member infrastructure, said: "This decision is a significant move forward as it is the first step towards a long-awaited bypass. Hereford can now move towards a more financially sustainable future, with the provision of more homes and jobs."

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