More than 200 homes set to be built despite fears over ancient woodland which is ‘irreplaceable habitat’

Plans for more than 200 homes in Selby are being recommended for approval despite concerns for ancient woodland nearby.

The plans will see Persimmon Homes build 215 more homes at Staynor Hall, off Abbots Road.

The site has had outline planning permission for 1,200 homes plus space for businesses, public open space, shopping and community facilities since 2005.

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Much of the work is already complete, but the final stages of the development plans, at the northeast corner of the site, have drawn objections.

The Woodland Trust have objected on the basis of damage to Staynor Wood, an ancient woodland and “irreplaceable habitat”.

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It is not proposed to fell any trees, but the trust said the proximity of the development was a concern.

The trust stated in council papers: “When land use is intensified such as in this situation, plant and animal populations are exposed to environmental impacts from the outside of a woodland. 

“In particular, the habitats become more vulnerable to the outside influences, or edge effects, that result from the adjacent land’s change of use. 

“These can impact cumulatively on ancient woodland – this is much more damaging than individual effects and significantly threatens the resilience of the ecosystem over time.”

Selby College has also registered “significant concern” about the plans, deeming the application’s highway design around Staynor Avenue “inappropriate and unsafe”.

They also said it was “bitterly disappointing” that they had “had limited meaningful discussion with Persimmon Homes during the planning phase of the development”.

The Selby District Council planning officer said many of the objections could not be taken into consideration as outline planning permission was already in place, and recommended the latest application for approval.

Councillors will have the final say on Thursday, November 11.