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We would like to thank all those who have given support to this project from the local community, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, the Forestry Commission, the Pond Conservation Trust, Alvecote and Shuttington Parish Council, Maurice Arnold, and all the contractors and friends, family and volunteers who have worked on the site and given us advice and support.

We are developing Alvecote Wood according to our Woodland Management Plan that has been agreed with and grant-aided by the Forestry Commission under the English Woodland Grant Scheme.

Are you another woodland owner needing advice? Would you like to read our Tree Safety Policy?

Objecting to the Proposed Housing Development

A new housing development is proposed next to, and over the road from, Alvecote Wood. Developers want to build 1,540 houses, some potentially as close as 80m from the woods. This could be disastrous to the wildlife and could also compromise the community benefit that we have been happy to provide at the woods.

The developers have submitted an outline Planning Application on the North Warwickshire Borough Council website, on the following page:

Planning Application details

The application reference is PAP/2018/0755: Land to east of Former Tamworth Golf Course North of Tamworth Road - B5000 and west of M42 Alvecote

There is a lot of information there, several hundreds of pages, and it is not that easy to pick out the bits that are really important as there are so many separate documents and they are not listed in a particularly friendly order. You may find the following direct links useful to look at the main documents in this application (beware that the council's website is slow!):

Indicative Layout
Planning Statement - Final.
1. Environmental Statement
Design and Access Statement - Part 1
Design and Access Statement - Part 2

The actual housing developer is Hallam Land Management. The building companies will doubtless be selected much later.

The public consultation will run until 16th February 2019. Please make any comments in good time before that date.

If you wish to object to this proposal - and please do! - you can use the notes that follow on this page to help write your comments and go to the main Planning Application details page and press the button part-way down that is labelled "Comment on Application".

You should also be able to use the following direct link to open the same form:

Comment on this Planning Application

This will open a simple form where you can say whatever you wish, including to object or just to offer comments. There is guidance on that page about what will be considered, and what won't.

If you want to object, after entering your name and address details, please be sure to tick the blob near the bottom where it says "Inform the Authority that you object to the Planning Application." The default is that you are just submitting comments. Then, fill in whatever you wish to say in the box below that is labelled "Comments".

You can make multiple submissions, so if you think of something else or if some new information comes to light, then put in another comment or another objection.

You can also e-mail your comments to planningcontrol@northwarks.gov.uk quoting PAP/2018/0755 Alvecote Place, and if you object or agree with the development. You can e-mail your objection or comments in a Word document, for instance.

Anyone can make a comment! It doesn't even matter if you are outside the UK! Please go ahead if you wish, from wherever you are!

I've not been able to find a corresponding application lodged with Tamworth BC. Please let me know if anyone can find it?

The remainder of this page comprises a selection of paragraphs that you can copy, or preferably put into your own words, to form your own submission.

(I have tagged each block of comments with the date they were added, so you can see if something new has appeared since you submitted your objections. The latest additions are at the bottom of this page. I am likely to add more as I am working with Planning experts in an effort to present the strongest-possible argument that the developers need to re-consider aspects of their design. Feel free to e-mail me to suggest additional comments that are relevant and that will carry weight in the Planning decision process. Thanks to everyone that has already done that. You help and support is much appreciated.)


The following notes were added to this page on 02-Feb-2019 05:49

I object to this planning application because it is so close to Alvecote Wood and so many extra people in the area will disturb the wildlife that relies on the wood.

I object to this planning application because the owner of Alvecote Wood has done research that predicts a major increase in the level of human disturbance, of several types, if housing comes so much closer. Houses are presently about 1km from the woods. This development will put them around 100m away. Research done by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, for instance, suggests this could easily result in an eight-fold increase in human disturbance, and even that research was knowingly a subset of problems they encountered on their nature reserves. Such a massive increase in disturbance could have a very serious direct impact on the wildlife at Alvecote Wood, and it could also make it much harder for the owner to continue managing the site for wildlife and also for community benefit.

I object to this planning application because Alvecote Wood is an ancient woodland and it is therefore a very precious site that should not be harmed. So many houses, so close to the wood, will very likely have multiple impacts that will damage the woods and the delicate ecosystem there.

I object to this planning application because Alvecote Wood is the only ancient woodland for miles around and it is therefore very important to the local wildlife. Housing so close to the wood will result in disturbance to the wildlife.

I object to this planning application because it will restrict the movement of wildlife through the area. Additional traffic on Robey's Lane will surely result in more animals being killed on the road.

I object to this planning application because it will very likely result in more people entering Alvecote Wood with, and especially without, permission. I am concerned that this will cause more disturbance to the wildlife that lives there.

I object to this planning application because more people will be likely to jump over the fence to enter Alvecote Wood to steal things that the owners need to manage the site.

I object to this planning application because Alvecote Wood needs the careful management that the current owners have been doing and this could be compromised by items being stolen, damaged or vandalised.

I object to this planning application because many people will want to walk their dogs at the woods as it is so close to the new houses and such a nice place. Dogs can cause major disruption to the wildlife such as ground-nesting birds and rodents such as voles that live there.

I object to this planning application because people will let their dogs run free after going into Alvecote Wood. They may think they are doing no harm, but the ecosystem there is delicate and dogs running around could scare away, as well as eat, a lot of the wildlife there.

I object to this planning application because pet cats will be very likely to hunt at Alvecote Wood. The developers propose planting some green buffers but these will take 20+ years to become established and cats will find it easy to get to the woods, even after the new planting has grown.

I object to this planning application because cats will go underneath the hawthorn bushes that the developers mention as a green barrier! Cats getting to Alvecote Wood could cause a major impact on the vole population there, taking crucial food from the birds of prey.

I object to this planning application because I think cats will get into Alvecote Wood and eat the birds that live there.

Pete Etheridge, Consultant Ecologist at Greenwood Ecology & Conservation, says regarding Environmental Statement section 7.5.10: "I would argue that pre-mitigation effects would be more significant than assessed. You are talking about damage to irreplaceable ancient woodland habitat after all, and the woodland edge habitat is often amongst the most biodiverse. It also fails to recognise the knock-on effects this could have on species such as foraging bats, etc." I object to this planning application because the Environmental Statement fails to take proper account of these important aspects.

The developer's Environmental Statement makes the gross assumption that all cat owners are likely to own a single cat, only. I have a neighbour that owns 5 cats, at least, and I own 2 myself! Cats pose a serious threat when introduced into the countryside, and Alvecote Wood is a very sensitive piece of our local countryside! If houses are going to be built, there needs to be some proper cat-proofing included to protect Alvecote Wood.

Pete Etheridge, Consultant Ecologist at Greenwood Ecology & Conservation, raises concerns about Environmental Statement section 7.5.49 where it says "Although some species may be more susceptible to predation than others, it is considered unlikely that the increased abundance of cats would alter the conservation status of any of the breeding bird assemblages present". Based on what evidence?! I don’t know what work has been done on cat predation, but you need to back a statement like that up with some sort of citation. Also, they didn’t survey Alvecote Wood, so have no information regarding what species are there and how they may be impacted. There also doesn’t appear to be any assessment of possible cat predation on other species beyond birds (e.g. small mammals, amphibians, bats). I object to this planning application because the Environmental Statement fails to take proper account of these important aspects.

I object to this planning application because the developers have taken no notice of the range of wildlife that lives at Alvecote Wood. They have surveyed the farm land, but they have no data on the richest piece of habitat in the whole area!!! This makes a mockery of their Environmental Impact Assessment!

I object to this planning application because Alvecote Wood is presently regarded as the Best Managed Small Woodland in all of England. This is a significant feather in the cap of our area! I do not want to see Alvecote Wood deteriorate and I fear that may happen if so many houses are built so close to the woods.

I object to this planning application because the developers have incorporated no monitoring on any aspects of impacts. If there are problems, who will deal with them? This applies to the wildlife and to many other aspects that can be affected by their design.

I object to this planning application because there is too little to keep teenagers occupied within the development. Teenagers wandering outside the development will very likely cause issues at Alvecote Wood, as it is so close, and perhaps also at the pub and marina down the road.

I object to this planning application because more people will be likely to walk along Robey's Lane and that is already a dangerous road to walk along. Some people already walk to the Samuel Barlow's pub further along the road and it is only natural that many more people will do this, with scary consequences for road safety.

I object to this planning application because I am concerned that it will increase the impact on the Alvecote Pools SSSI nature reserve that is nearby. The developers argue that it is difficult for people to walk 600m to get to the SSSI, but many people already walk all along Robey's Lane to go to the pub, etc! People living in the new houses could be halfway there already, compared to people living on Acorn Ridge near the B5000!

I object to this planning application because it will result in more people walking past, and then walking into, Alvecote Wood. Alvecote Wood is a delicate nature reserve. The owners have been careful to control the number of people that go there. They may not be able to maintain sufficient control if there are many, many more people in the area and especially walking along Robey's Lane.

I object to this planning application because the developers say the new residents will be able to get to local schools and shops, etc, but that same walking/cycling/travelling range puts them all in easy reach of Alvecote Wood. Alvecote Wood is an important Local Wildlife Site and also an ancient woodland, so it is very susceptible to disturbance.

I object to this planning application because I don't think the green buffer areas are deep enough so there is insufficient protection for Alvecote Wood, which will be virtually surrounded by the new houses!

It is good that the developers intend to provide some interpretive signage near Alvecote Wood to explain about the delicate habitat there. Many people do not realise how vulnerable these places are.

I object to this planning application because the owners of Alvecote Wood have had problems in the past with unauthorised visitors trying to steal items such as firewood. The modern trend to have more wood burning stoves to reduce heating bills will likely result in more people trying to steal firewood from Alvecote Wood. Will the owners have to lock up every last thing to prevent it being stolen? So many people within walking distance will be a big threat to the woods.

I object to this planning application because more people will be likely to go poaching of the wildlife at Alvecote Wood as the houses will be so much closer than they are now.

I object to this planning application because it will result in much more background noise at Alvecote Wood, which could disturb the wildlife.

I object to this planning application because it will cause a massive increase in the amount of traffic in the whole area and especially going along Robey's Lane. Traffic through Alvecote Village is already very difficult as it is such a narrow road and frequently double-parked. More traffic trying to negotiate such an awkward village will clog it up badly and may result in more road accidents.

I object to this planning application because the developers appear to have taken no notice of traffic going north along Robey's Lane. They dismiss that road as being unsuitable for heavy traffic. That doesn't mean that people won't use it! It is already awkward, and even a small increase in traffic will cause multiple problems in Alvecote Village and also further on over the narrow bridge and through to Shuttington (which is another very awkward road) as well as around to Amington. Many people use Robey's Lane to get to Junction 11 on the M42 from the east side of Tamworth and Polesworth. There are multiple pinch points in this area and the developers appear to have taken no notice of this direction of travel at all.

I object to this planning application because the bridge over the canal and railway on Robey's Lane is already too narrow and a bottleneck. Any additional traffic along that road will make matters worse.

I object to this planning application because there is already too much traffic in the Stonydelph area of Tamworth and this will make it worse! Pennine Way is already frequently clogged during rush hour.

I object to this planning application because there is already too much traffic going along Marlborough Way and the A5. This will make all of that worse!

I object to this planning application because Polesworth is already a nightmare for road traffic and this will add more cars to the local roads.

I object to this planning application because the infrastructure is missing to cope with so many extra people! I already struggle to get an appointment with my GP.

I object to this planning application because it will see the end of the Bank Holiday market.

I object to this planning application because the noise from the Go Kart track will cause problems to the new residents. The developers have apparently proposed triple glazing for the houses nearby, but that won't help people that want to have their windows open, or to sit in their gardens! The karts can be heard half a mile away so houses right there could have major problems, even if the developers also include noise-reducing banks of soil.

I object to this planning application because
(insert your own concerns here)


The following notes were added to this page on 02-Feb-19 17:15

I like to buy honey from Alvecote Wood. I know the owners of the wood have suffered a picnic bench being stolen some years ago from a location near to where the bee hives are. If this housing goes ahead, will they have to lock up the bee hives? Is it even possible to lock up bee hives?! Will this make it impractical for the bee keeper to take care of his bees?

The Scouts have camped at the woods many times. It provides a safe location for them to camp overnight and to learn life skills. If this housing goes ahead, will the wood be subject to trespassers in the middle of the night? Will it still be safe for children???


The following notes were added to this page on 03-Feb-19 10:21

The traffic figures don't appear to give any data for vehicles moving along Robey's Lane and yet the developers had a traffic monitoring device installed directly outside Alvecote Wood for a few days. I object to this planning application because I feel traffic on Robey's Lane has been dismissed as unimportant or insignificant, whereas it is very important to the local residents and for those that commute to and from the north along this road.

I object to this planning application because I do not have confidence in the ecological survey data. There was Great Crested Newt survey netting in place on the field immediately south of Alvecote Wood but, shortly after it was installed, the farmer cultivated the land on both sides of the netting. Surely this makes a mockery of any survey findings?


The following notes were added to this page on 08-Feb-19 15:19

The following objection is from Keith Warmington, of Warwickshire Butterfly Conservation:

Alvecote Wood and surrounding area has become a very important habitat for a diverse range of wildlife including birds, mammals and invertebrates. It is a significant site within the Anker Valley Living Landscape Area and with the forthcoming HS2 development it will take on an even greater significance within the wildlife corridor that includes Pooley Fields Country Park and Alvecote Pools Nature Reserve. The areas of species rich grassland within the plantation woodland of Betty’s Wood already supports Biodiversity Action Plan Species such as Dingy Skipper and Small Heath, the series of ponds and pools support the rare Hairy Dragonfly and the woodland is home to a large colony of Noctule Bats. Barn Owl regularly hunts over the grassy fringes of the plantation woodland. The number of moths identified on the site is also hugely significant with over 500 species recorded (including 9 Nationally Notable Species). The site epitomises a ‘haven’ for wildlife.
I strongly object to any part of the Alvecote Place development that will have a detrimental impact on this site, be it from close proximity of light and noise pollution, increased pressure of human activity and the severing of the wildlife corridor of which Alvecote Wood forms an important part.


The following notes were added to this page on 14-Feb-19 22:10

Alvecote Wood has a drainage ditch running from its north-western corner and feeding a group of three ponds in the lower part of the woods. I object to this Planning Application as there is a serious risk to the habitat of those ponds from waterborne pollution. If a resident of the new housing pours car engine oil or other noxious substance into a roadside gulley, the pollution could cause irreparable damage to the ponds within minutes. The developers should be required to provide an absolute guarantee, for the life of the development, that there is no possible route for waterborne pollution to get from the area of the new housing into Alvecote Wood or Betty's Wood. If some filters or other physical constraint is provided, such defence mechanism must be monitored and maintained to ensure it remains in serviceable condition for the life of the development.

Mark English, Design Out Crime Officer for Warwickshire Police, who has been involved on numerous past occasions of crime at Alvecote Wood, says “Increased human disturbance is inevitable with such a large development so close to Alvecote Wood”.

The developer's Environmental Statement also makes a generalised assumption that all cat owners are likely to own a single cat. Cats pose a serious threat when introduced into the countryside, and Alvecote Wood is a very sensitive piece of the local green infrastructure. The Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association reports an average ownership ratio of 1.7 cats per cat-owning household in the West Midlands in 2018. This could therefore result in some 471 new cats coming into the area. If the development is allowed to proceed significant and effective mitigation, including cat-proofing, should be provided to protect Alvecote Wood.

According to statista.com and the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association 26% of British households now own one or more dogs. According to these statistics, 1,540 houses can therefore be expected to bring in excess of 400 dogs into the immediate neighbourhood. All of these dogs will need to be exercised, which includes exercise free running off lead. The wood will present a great temptation to owners as a place to exercise dogs. The disturbance to Alvecote Wood could be severe.