VILLAGERS are up in arms over plans for a new caravan site which would involve felling many of the trees in a woodland planted with public grants.
Residents in Ulrome, near Bridlington, say they are already outnumbered 15 to one by holiday developments.
Rickaby Wood, off Main Street, was planted in 2002 through the Woodland Grant scheme and has a public right of way.
Lissett and Ulrome parish council is objecting to plans to use it for up to 120 caravans, saying it would be of no benefit to a village with no shop, post office or pub. The proposals also sparked 70 letters of objection.
The village has 65 households and a handful of holiday lets, but local residents are vastly outnumbered by three caravan sites, and smaller static and tourer sites, totalling more than 1,000 pitches.
Residents say the plans “would destroy a woodland and wildlife habitat enjoyed by locals” and pile more traffic onto local roads.
One wrote: “It is not right and proper that swathes of woodland named Rickaby Woods, the habitat of wildlife, which has increased over recent years, be cut through to make way for the development of holiday caravans.
“The sighting of a deer, which I once had the good fortune to come face to face with one early morning, will then become a thing of the past.
“What a poor exchange – just another money-making venture.”
A mother-of-three added: “The destruction of the woodlands would be a travesty affecting both the wildlife that lives within which include song birds, buzzards, tawny owl, barn owl, woodpecker, kingfisher, amphibians, deer and also myself and children who use it for recreation and wildlife spotting.”
The parish council pointed out the “irony” of the Government creating a northern forest stretching from Hull to Liverpool while locally trees, which were planted 15 years ago, were replaced with “concrete and tarmac”.
They warn of the danger of ending up like Lincolnshire “where a fringe of caravan sites litters its coastline”.
However, East Riding Council is recommending approval.
A report to a planning committee meeting at County Hall, Beverley, on Thursday, says: “Compliance with the (woodland) grant scheme is not a matter for the Local Planning Authority to consider.”
It says about 60 per cent of the trees would be retained and the public right of way would have a 10m buffer on either side.
Planners accept that the amount of tourism development “is beyond what could in any way be considered to be proportionate to the size of the settlement”.
But they conclude that there is “no evidence to demonstrate that this proposal would cause harm that would merit the refusal of the application”.