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New Center Parcs would ‘tear heart out of’ ancient woodland, experts warn

Plans for a brand new Center Parcs in Sussex would “tear the heart out” of irreplaceable ancient woodland, environmental activists have stated.

The £350m vacation village close to Crawley would embody lodging, eating places and a swimming complicated.

But conservation and wildlife charities together with RSPB and the Woodland Trust have spoken out towards the proposal.

The improvement “would tear the heart out of Oldhouse Warren’s irreplaceable ancient woodland” leading to “irreversible loss of habitat for wildlife”, the teams, which additionally embody the Sussex Wildlife Trust, CPRE Sussex and Sussex Ornithological Society, stated in a joint letter.

Dan Osborn, chairman of CPRE Sussex, stated: “Felling ancient woodland and displacing some of our rarest birds would be bad enough anywhere, it is even worse done in the heart of the High Weald national landscape.

”The proposals fly within the face of every thing we’re informed about the necessity to cut back our carbon emissions, and run counter to Government aims for the restoration and enlargement of our pure habitats and biodiversity for our, and their, long-term well being and wellbeing.“

Jenny Scholfield, South East regional director for the Woodland Trust, warned that the development could ”open the floodgates for injury to ancient woodlands elsewhere“.

Defending the plans, a Center Parcs spokesperson said ”detailed ecological surveys“ are underway and it takes its responsibility to the environment and forests ”extraordinarily critically“.

They added: ”We have greater than 30 years’ expertise of sensitively managing the woodlands during which our villages are situated, fastidiously nurturing and sustaining the forests to guard and improve biodiversity.

“Our approach to this development will be a collaborative one, working with the local authority, local community and with all groups that have a specific interest in the site.”

Additional reporting by PA

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