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Frequently Asked Questions

There are lots of opinions in local media regarding the future of Jesmond Wood and we know that it can be difficult to keep track of everything. We'll do our best to provide a fair and accurate answer to the most popular questions as they arise.

We'll update these from time to time to give you up to date information to the best of our knowledge.

  • What's happening with the Appeal?
    The Appeal has been Withdrawn by the landowner. Updates were made to the Planning Inspectorate case and on BCP Planning Portal. The land owner had appealed the unanimous decision made on 15 December 2022 by the BCP Planning Committee to refuse the application to build 16 houses on the woodland. On 2 October 2023, an Appeal process started with the Planning Inspectorate following the appeal submission by the land owner on 14 June 2023. We understand that many residents and concerned statutory bodies made their representations to the appeal. At this time it's not clear why the landowner decided to withdraw their appeal. Click to view the Appeal on the Planning Inspectorate website
  • Why was the application refused by BCP Planning Committee?
    Before the Committee reviewed the application, the Case Officer concluded that the application should be refused. At Planning Committee all Planning Committe members voted to refuse the application. The BCP Planning department produced a comprehensive 47-page report to present to the Planning Committee for their consideration on 15 December 2023 after the application had been called to Committee by a Councillor. This report included all the relevant consultees' comments and references to local policies that are cited in protecting this ecological corridor from such development. In summary the key points raised by BCP Planning in it's Decision Notice: 1. Adverse impact on the landscape character of the locality and the amenity that this parcel of woodland provides to the area - the proposal is considered to be contrary to Policies HE2 and HE3 of the Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan; 2. Adverse impact on the amenity the trees provide within the wider landscape and green corridor - the proposal is considered to be contrary to Policies HE2 and HE3 of the Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan; 3. Adverse impact to movement of wildlife in the ecological corridor - the proposal is contrary to policy ME1 and saved policy ENV15 of the Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan; 4. Proximity of the development to a protected site, Dorset heathlands (EU legislation wildlife importance) - contrary to Policy ME2 of the Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan, Part 1 - Core Strategy, Adopted April, 2014 and the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework, particularly paragraph 118; 5. Lack of affordable housing provision - the scheme is considered to be contrary to Policy LN3 of the Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan - Core Strategy (2014) 6. Insufficient public transport contribution - the proposal is contrary to the Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan policy KS11 and KS12, the BCP Parking Standards SPD 2021, and paragraphs 110, 111 and 112 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2021; 7. Adverse effect on the ecological integrity of the River Avon (Special Area of Conservation) - contrary to Policy ME1 of Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan Part 1 – Core Strategy (2014) 8. Detrimental impact to water quality - contrary to saved Policies ENV3 and ENV6 of Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan Part 1 – Core Strategy (2014) You will find the entitled 'Final Agenda Committee Report' in the View Documents section on planning application 8/22/0306/FUL on the Christchurch Planning Portal. It's the fourth document from the bottom of the list (keep scrolling!).
  • When will the replanting of the felled trees start?
    Over 100 trees have been felled in Jesmond Wood which is protected by two area Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). These trees were cited as being either 'dead or dangerous' (Regulation 14) or dying and approved by BCP in several TPO planning applications. All of the tree felling approvals have conditions to replant as a duty of care and at the expense of the landowner. To date, the landowner has not replaced a single felled tree. BCP and Parish Councillors will be ensuring that BCP Officers enforce these conditions and that all replanting is fulfilled to their specification and within the required timescales. The applications with tree replanting conditions: 8/23/0579/TTPO - replant 47 trees by 29 February 2024 8/23/0547/REG14 - replant 46 trees 8/21/0126/REG14 - replant 7 trees by 28 February 2022 T/16/0050 - replant 10 trees by 1 January 2017
  • Are there any current planning applications?
    There are no current planning applications with BCP Planning. There is currently (October 2023) an Appeal in progress with the Planning Inspectorate. The applicant has appealled the decision made on 15 December 2022 by the BCP Planning Committee to refuse the application to build 16 houses on the woodland. Click to view the Appeal on the Planning Inspectorate website
  • Why is Jesmond Wood important?
    Jesmond Wood forms part of a valuable ecosystem, numbering around a thousand trees. The wood forms part of the wildlife corridor connecting Chewton Common and Nea Meadows Nature Reserve. The importance of these corridors has been highlighted by Natural England and DEFRA's Nature Recovery Network. It is home to many species of protected bats, and species of bird on the British Trust for Ornithology Red List for birds of conservation concern. Grass snakes and slow worms have been found here. Locals have watched foxes, hedgehogs and even deer in the ‘corridor’. One resident has captured video footage of badgers and an otter as they visit their garden backing onto the wood. Watch the video's on the Save Jesmond Wood YouTube Channel. Animals use it because it’s a unique shelter and passage through suburbia. If Jesmond Wood were to be developed - even a small amount, there would be no wildlife corridor. It would be lost forever. There has been conflict right from the start. Residents have been largely against any development on the site, motivated not through some ‘NIMBY’ impulse, but as responsible custodians of a fragile ecosystem. Supporters of the schemes are prevalent on Social Media platforms bullying and name-calling those who object to the woodlands' destruction.
  • Where is Jesmond Wood?
    Jesmond Wood is 7 acres of protected woodland in Highcliffe, Dorset Protected by two area Tree Preservation Orders, Core Strategy Policies HE4, ME1 (part) and saved policies ENV15 and KS4. Jesmond Wood is deciduous woodland (priority habitat) and important wildlife corridor with veteran trees, contributing to the wooded character of Lymington Road and setting of the Grade II Listed Old School House. Clearly visible from the surrounding area, its wooded character and role as part of the valuable wildlife corridor through Highcliffe from Nea Meadows to Chewton Common (as first recognised in 2001). Its preservation is much supported by the local community as demonstrated through objections to plans for its development, and it has been recognised as part of the Green Infrastructure Network within BCP Council's Green Infrastructure Plan (adopted September 2022).
  • Can I share my photos or videos of Jesmond Wood on this website?
    Yes you can. We have created a Save Jesmond Wood YouTube channel and Instagram account. You can subscribe and follow these social media accounts. Go to the Gallery page on this website. You can see other residents have shared their video of otters, badgers, hedgehogs, birds and deer. We are always happy to see more - so please get in touch with us!

Do you have a question you'd like us to answer? Get in touch.

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