A wildlife publisher is leading objections against plans to fell 250 trees for just seven homes in Frensham Vale.

South Oaks Development Limited has submitted plans to Waverley Borough Council for seven modern, five-bedroom homes on a densely wooded site to the rear of 42 Frensham Vale.

Its plans have already met significant resistance, however, with 20 residents and Farnham Town Council among those objecting to-date.

The developer claims the site is currently little more than "scrub woodland" and says the new homes will "respond positively to the landscape such that the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside are protected".

However, the application has sparked concerns over the impact on six protected species – including bats, newts, dormice, badgers, hedgehogs and ‘red listed’ birds.

South Oaks claims there will be "no net loss of biodiversity and support for animal habitats will be incorporated in the landscape, structures and the site complimented with suitable understory planting".

But Robert Ferguson, the founder of Hong Kong-based publisher WildCreatures and a resident of Longdown Road, has dismissed the developer’s claim of a “biodiversity net gain” as baseless.

Concluding a 12-page response to the application, submitted jointly with his wife Dr Sally Ferguson, he states: "We are not averse to good housing, but it is clear that this application and project does not protect the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside, completely decimates local biodiversity with the loss of 250 trees, and ignores the dangers of a recognised flood zone.

"The development should therefore be considered unacceptable on this and the many other grounds listed above."

Mr Ferguson is urging people to object individually by the October 23 deadline, with his own objection also addressing inconsistencies with local planning policy, flooding risks and biodiversity concerns.

Farnham Town Council has also "strongly objected" to the proposal, which it says sits outside of the town's built-up area boundary and is therefore in conflict with the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.

It states the homes would have a negative impact on the character of the area, and criticised the application for not addressing the increased flooding risk in Frensham Vale caused by the loss of trees and vegetation.

View and comment on the planning application WA/2023/02027 here.