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neiln

Am i just Victor Meldrew?

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Right now I'm riled and may be losing perspective!  I'd be very grateful for some advice on what laws may be being broken and if its none it might help me back in my box!

 

I live in south london, typical suburbs and back on to a school.  around the edge of the schools property, between their playing fields and the gardens of my and my neighbours, is a strip of wooded land.  Its not wide, probably less than 100m, overgrown tangle but with a solid line of oaks and a few sycamore and such.  I'm not aware of any tpos or conservation area/restrictions but this area 'Norwood' is so named as it was part of the great north wood, and there are lots of little pockets left such as biggin wood, grangewood and so on and I suspect this area around the school has been woodland for a very very long time.

yesterday work started with a 2 or 3 man band who didn't seem professional, chainsaws but not a lot of PPE, hacking away at trees. digger pushing trees over, no signage...just didn't feel right.  Today at half eight they started burning off all the waste, huge bonfire, loads of smoke, going all day, someone (not me) called the fire brigade who attended about 4, workers told to let the thing die out.  

 

I phoned the school to try and find out what was going on and didn't get reassured.  They claim to be constructing a pond and wildlife area, great, but the manner they are going about it seems very destructive.  I've contacted the council about various bit today and asked to speak to the school head.  i'd like some advice on what the school and contractor should have done, and is reasonable for me to ask about.  so far i've thought of:

-are there any tpos etc in place, work permitted?  ive contacted the council to ask

- was an eco survey done? is one needed?  i'm thinking birds, foxes, hedge hogs, frogs, stag beatles...i've had all in my garden so probably in the woods, what survey should have been done? can i ask to see it?

-risk assessment? what should have been done and can i ask?

-public safety concerns over the bonfire.  council contacted

- environmental concerns re the fire.  i'm guessing its effectively commercial waste and burning on site is wrong.  council contacted

-general lack of ppe makes me feel its a bunch of bodgers but is it a worthy complaint?

 

anything else?

 

i have also asked council about access from highway where i believe they have no right of access, and possible planning needs about a 'classroom' to built, maybe the change of use? maybe the construction of the pond and paths...but probably not the advice to expect here!

 

thoughts?

V Meldrew ;) 

 

Edited by neiln
typo

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that was my thought and why I bothered to call the school today.  the response i got wasn't satisfactory, gut fee was strongy that they knew they were not doing things in a professional and neighbourly manner, and knew they hadn't bothered to check what rules they need to follow let alone bothered to actually follow them.  He tried to fob me off then insulted me and told me its on their land, none of my business what they do or how they do it.  So I then contacted the council, but given they will be incredibly slow to respond in all probability, I'd love a bit of advice to know where I stand, or rather where they should stand and I can check!

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Well since I'm pretty sure they have no right of access from the highway where they are entering, its very tempting to park my car and get neighbours to also, to block them ever getting their digger back!

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Not some developers pulling  a fast one  with a rogue crew? Seen any survey types wandering about 🤔 k

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that was first first thought , and all day yesterday.  the nearest house is in a cul-de-sac behind me and the entire side of that property is the boundary to the school right where this is happening.  I thought they were pulling a fast one and doing something like getting rid of trees they don't like/getting themselves a side/rear access/stealing a bit of land perhaps!  until now this bit of woodland I could equally describe as wasteland, unused and steeply sloped, largely unuseable ...the school hadn't shown any interest in it and i wasn't sure they were behind the work!  today's phone call reveals the school are behind it.  wildlife teaching resource...cool use, good, but follow the laws and ideally be neighbourly and tke on board and address concerns!

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It sounds like whatever they are doing would require planning permission, you can check on your councils planning portal if any applications have been made. They would require an ecological survey to do anything and from the sound of it they are doing the opposite of encouraging wildlife, or the destruction of existing wildlife.

The council are your only route really.

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33 minutes ago, neiln said:

Well since I'm pretty sure they have no right of access from the highway where they are entering,

Why shouldn't they access the land from a public highway?

 

Strange thing about a lot of the open spaces in that area (streatham and mitcham commons for instance) do not have statutory protection, they were not registered as common land in 1965

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there is no gate, no dropped curb,no pass over, this is not an entrance.  they've taken some fencing down and entered. perhaps I wrong but i thought you need permission to access and can't just shove a gate where you like.  the access they've made is from the end of a cul-de-sac, they have never had an entrance from this highway.  they have 2 different acess points on other sides of their plot.

 

it's not common land, its school property, I'm not disputing that, its theirs, within their fence and not used by the public.

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