Residents stop the chainsaw gang

RESIDENTS in Linslade put up a brave fight to stop developers who tried to bulldoze a wildlife haven without permission.

On Monday morning people on Corbets Ride were woken up by the sound of chainsaws chopping down trees.

It was developers who are currently in the process of buying old gardens and vegetable plots of the council houses along St Mary's Way.

Residents Sylvia Card and Victoria Harvey were quick on the scene, and got themselves between the chainsaws and the trees to prevent any further destruction.

They also called police who came to the scene and stopped their work.

South Beds District Council has since admitted to the Citizen that the developers had no right to clear the land.

A spokesman said: "Contracts have been exchanged, but the sale has not yet been completed.

"Completion is conditional upon the developer getting planning consent. Until that happens, the

developer has no access to the council's land.

"We are in the process of sending the developer a formal letter at this time, restating these facts and conditions.

"We are, however, meeting the developer and Ms Victoria Harvey in the near future to discuss all the issues involved, including trees. The developer has undertaken to plant new trees on the site."

Ms Harvey was outraged at the incident. She said: "What many people describe as an overgrown and untidy area is a vital haven for wildlife.

"The desire for tidiness can be very destructive to wildlife. Unless we provide trees and some overgrown areas we will have less and less wild birds and hedgehogs in Leighton-Linslade."

She is also hoping the developer will give something back to the area.

"We're calling for mitigation from South Beds District Council and from the developer so that if planning permission is granted and all this habitat for wildlife is destroyed, the new development will include some trees and there will be money to plant up a nearby area to support wildlife."