RESIDENTS at Rogate are up in arms after claiming land at Terwick Common is being ‘devastated’.
Permitted development rights have been given for 25 acres of woodland on the former Dangstein Estate to be managed and for the coppicing of trees.
It included permission for a track from Fyning Lane into the woodland though which wood could be transported.
But residents say activity on the land has gone far beyond the permission granted.
Speaking on behalf of those living in Fyning Lane Ann Arnold told the Observer: “It’s been going on for about five years, but we have all reached the end of our tethers now.
“There was a lovely area at the top of Fyning Lane on Terwick Common where we had a notice board, post box and telephone box.
“It has all been opened up now.
“A narrow country lane has been turned into a big track double the size and with hardcore laid down.
“Workshops have been put up and people are building bus shelters up there.
“There is someone in a caravan who is running courses like chair making.
“It’s a kind of cottage industry which has been set up. What is being done, I agree with in lots of ways.
“If it were anywhere else we wouldn’t mind as they are sustainable industries.
“But it is inconveniencing the neighbours and disturbing people with extra traffic and people coming and going all the time.
“It seems the landowner has been given an inch and taken a mile here.
“Given the purposes of the national park are to enhance and conserve the beauty, wildlife and heritage of the park,” she said, “I believe we have to stand up and be counted over this in order to save the land from being destroyed.”
“I feel very strongly about this because I take my dog up there and see the devastation and I think it is just not right.”
Residents have now contacted Chichester District Council and the South Downs National Park and asked officers to investigate and take enforcement action to stop uses which they believe have not been given permitted rights.
In addition Rogate Parish Council has asked the planning authorities to investigate.
A spokesman for Chichester District Council said: “We have received complaints about this particular site. We are currently investigating the situation in partnership with the South Downs National Park Authority. Once we have concluded our investigation, we will consider what action it would be appropriate to take.”
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