Residents of Barnsley village upset after birds are displaced and hedges cut down to make way for giant Hermes warehouse

Residents of Hoyland were “horrified” after birds were left “flying aimlessly” when developers dug up a hedgerow to make way for a 45-hectare development.

Hedgerows on Tankersley Lane, Hoyland

The hedgerows, off Tankersley Lane in Hoyland, were felled to make way for the new 363,000 sq ft automated distribution hub for parcel giant Hermes.

Councillors adopted the Hoyland South masterplan in November 2020, which gave the green light to plans that will change the face of the area.

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The plans will see up to 1,116 new homes, a new primary school, community hubs and active travel routes, as well as the relocation of the Rockingham Sports Centre to Parkside Road by the end of April.

A new Hermes Colossus hub - the largest of its kind in Europe - was approved as part of a separate masterplan for Hoyland West, much to some residents’ dismay.

David White, who ran as a Conservative councillor for the ward in May’s election, says he has been contacted by residents who feel frustrated about the lack of action from the council.

After posting a video on his Facebook page showing birds scattering from the remains of a hedgerow, residents commented how “heartbreaking”, “upsetting” and “soul destroying” it was to see.

“It’s done, it’s been built and they’be got 45 hectares stripped and turned into an industrial floodplane,” added Mr White.

He also said that as resident of Hoyland, he is concerned about the environmental impact of the potential 500 lorries per day forecast to use the warehouse.

“The air quality tests that were done in the centre of Hoyland at the traffic lights was marginal - it was high.

“You’re talking about 500 lorries a day coming in to drop off parcels, 500 plus collecting them and taking them out again,”

The design and access statement for the warehouse states that the hedgerows on the site are “defunct”, adding: “Many of the hedgerows will be lost to facilitate access infrastructure and large commercial units.

“Nearly all the hedgerows on site will be lost, although none were found to meet the definition of `Important’ hedgerow.

“Loss of hedgerows will be compensated for by areas of habitat creation which will include tree and hedgerow planting.”

A Barnsley Council spokesperson stated that hedgerows and trees were checked by an ecologist before the works took place, and added that Newlands Developments and their appointed contractor are carrying out the works.

Newlands Developments declined to comment regarding the works.