Whistler’s Wood

Once again, at a very late stage in the planning process, Whistler’s Wood has hit the headlines.

In 2009 the owner of the copse, known as Whistler’s Wood, off Pound Street applied for planning permission for two “eco” houses. The Society, among many others, objected to the application and it was turned down by WDDC. The owner took his application to appeal and lost again.

In December 2012 the owner re-applied for planning permission including a detailed definition of a Trust that would be set up to maintain the woodland which would meet the planning inspector’s major objection. Once again we objected to this new application on the same grounds as to the previous one but also that the proposed Trust would only be practicable if WDDC seconded staff with appropriate expertise.

© Google Maps

The application went before the WDDC Planning Committee earlier this year and was recommended approval subject to the completion of legal agreements regarding the handing over of the woodland to a Trust to secure its future.

Despite this, Frances Whistler, a Society member and daughter of the former owner of the woodland, believes that public opinion may hold sway. She has organised an awareness raising gathering at “the green door” in Pound Street on Saturday 6th April at 3.00pm. She also believes that contacting Lyme’s WDDC representatives may help. If you would like more information contact her on fxwhistler@hotmail.com

You, the readers of this post have ability to express whatever disquiet you may feel at this proposed development. The more voices that are heard the better.

One response to “Whistler’s Wood

  1. Frances Whistler

    It’s tremendous that opposition to the development continues to grow, and it’s NOT TOO LATE to make a difference. WDDC has reached no decision yet, postponing their vote till after a projected site visit. The earliest the application could come back to a meeting is 18 April or 16 May.

    The excellent attendance at the event on Saturday 7th included three Lyme Councillors. Common sense says that the Trust won’t work as a means of preserving the remaining woodland. First, because no Trust could prevail against the safety and amenity of householders (as the Appeal Inspector pointed out), and second, because it’s grossly underfunded.

    For the Trust just to continue to exist it would need a massive endowment, but only £1,500 is on offer. A hundred times that amount would hardly be enough for it to perform its function of preserving the remaining woodland in perpetuity.

    Let’s continue to protest. The wood is part of Lyme’s Conservation Area, where only developments that “preserve and enhance” are allowed. Please write to your Lyme representative on the Planning Committee, Mr George Symonds cllrg.symonds@westdorset-dc.gov.uk and/or other Councillors (all their emails can be found on http://www.dorsetforyou.com/committees/planning/west).

    We CAN still save the wood for Lyme.

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