Residents denounce the destruction of Felpham’s ‘wildlife habitat’

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The grounds are attached to Outerwyke Farmhouse on Felpham Way, which has been vacant and unmaintained for several decades. The overgrown gardens have since become, according to residents, home to a wide variety of protected animals and wildlife, including bats, reptiles and wildlife.

The land has since been subject to an enforcement notice from Arun District Council requiring low level clearance of foliage. Residents claim that this work has since begun without the submission of an ecological study. Simon Wild, who lives in Felpham with his wife Jaine, parish councilor for Felpham, said:

“When an enforcement notice was sent, there should have been a requirement to have an ecological study, and this ecologist would have demanded that habitat remain and have mitigation measures taken to ensure that protected species are not destroyed.

Outerwyke Farm in Felpham

If that required the owner to apply for a building permit, that is what should have happened. Although we notified the police of breaches of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the evidence was destroyed. »

Presented with this, a spokesman for Arun District Council said: ‘We are unable to require an ecological study to be carried out as the legislation used to serve the notice is only to require clearance or works to prevent shelter from vermin. The owner has commissioned his own contractor to carry out the work on his private land and it is up to them to decide among themselves what they want to clear.

Together, Jaine and Simon Wild run West Sussex Wildlife Protection, an action group dedicated to protecting wildlife in West Sussex and beyond. They claim the land was a valuable ecological site that should have been treated with more respect: “It was not an overgrown garden, but a wild woodland habitat that would have been rich in reptiles, bats and the like. protected species of birds and hedgehogs”. said Mr. Wild.

Arun District Council said the clearance notice was only served after the vacant houses officer tried to work with the landlord for several years to get the site back into use. They added that the notice had been served because of a fear that the garden would attract vermin. #

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