Isle of Wight councillor for Newport East, Cllr Geoff Brodie, says he has been bombarded with complaints from residents over the weekend following the destruction of a wildlife pond.
The actions of housing developer, Barratts, have been slammed after the longstanding wildlife pond on Pan Country Park was destroyed as part of a drainage scheme.
The councillor explained that the Pan Meadows development “will ultimately extend nearly as far as this pond, but the country park is supposed to provide a buffer against urban creep”.
Boyd: “Just plain vandalism”
Commenting on Cllr Brodie’s Facebook post about the situation, ecologist Ian Boyd who worked hard to help make the Country Park a reality, said,
“The pond was never part of any attenuation design, it was outside the development red line and solely intended as part of the mitigating works for wildlife within the country park.
“It’s just plain vandalism and the developer needs to put the habitats back (that won’t help the immediate loss, but allows things to recolonise) and provide some sort of additional compensatory benefit for biodiversity within the country park.”
Before the works started
Tizzi Arnold who regularly walks her dogs in the country park said she was appalled by the devastation and shared this photo of the pond before the drainage works.
Brodie: It’s “like a marauding army devastating the countryside”
Cllr Brodie said,
“It seems to me that the only consideration Barratts give is to their shareholders, as they have repeatedly over the last eight years done everything in their power to annoy local people.
“Look back at the fires in the area a few years ago that burnt out wildlife. Or the recent unilateral blocking of a much-used bridleway that had to be re-routed.
“In this instance it seems a bit like a marauding army devastating the countryside.”
Cllr Brodie has now taken this issue up with senior IW Council officers and hopes to find out more early next week.
A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight council said,
“The Isle of Wight Council is investigating, as this work was not part of the agreed schedule with Barratts.”
Thanks to all the readers who got in touch with us about this incident.