The FCWT was formed 20 years ago to protect the Muiry Wood from the possibility of housing development. With very strong community support an area of the Muiry Wood was purchased together with the adjacent Newforres Wood and they provide an area of woodland and natural habitat with abundant wildlife that is enjoyed by large number of ramblers and dog walkers. Moreover, the woodland area provides a natural boundary to the South of Forres.
This natural habitat is now under threat from a proposed development of 14 houses in the Muiry Woodlands. The application is listed on the Moray Council Website as 18/01117/APP. The scheme, if approved, will result in the removal of a massive 2.9 hectares of ancient native woodlands with several hundred trees cut down. The proposed area is a valuable habitat which is home to some very important fauna and flora, including red squirrels, badgers and pine martens plus a variety of breeding birds, some of which are on the endangered list. A housing development in this area will destroy a significant part of a valuable woodland ecosystem and will result in a great loss of local natural heritage.
Moreover, the FCWT believe that this proposal is contrary to several Environmental Policies of the Moray Council as stated in the Moray Local Development Plan for example:
Policy EP1 says that “ In support of the Scottish Government’s Control of Woodland Removal Policy, development which involves woodland removal will only be permitted where it would achieve significant and clearly defined benefits and where removal will not result in unacceptable adverse effects on the amenity, landscape, biodiversity, economic or recreational value of the woodland or prejudice the management of the forest.” This proposed development could in no manner be said to achieve significant and clearly defined benefits. Moreover, there is no doubt that the removal of the woodland would result in adverse effects on the landscape and biodiversity of that area given that it forms part of a larger area of woodland including the Muiry Woods owned by the FCWT.
Policy ER2 states “Development which involves the loss of woodlands will be refused where the development would result in unacceptable adverse effects on the amenity, landscape, biodiversity, economic or recreational value of the woodland or prejudice the management of the forest. Woodland removal will only be supported where it can be demonstrated that the impact on the woodland is clearly outweighed by social or economic benefits of national, regional and local importance.” There is no social or economic benefit of national, regional or local importance for this Development, indeed the only economic benefit will be to the developer.
The FCWT requests that those who share our concern for the loss of woodland and natural wildlife habitat that is enjoyed by so many make their objections known to Moray Council. The objection procedure is simple. You can click here to see all aspects of the Planning Application and make a Comment. Any personal details that you have to submit are redacted from the comments that appear on the Council Planning website. Objections must be with the Council by 7th October 2018.