WESTBURY is under threat of becoming too urbanised, a local man has warned after a grass verge on Slag Lane was cut back earlier this month.
Peter Tout, who lives nearby, says the large green bank at the entrance to Slag Lane, was valuable habitat for wildlife until recently when it was ‘destroyed’.
The land which is owned by Wiltshire Council and usually maintained by their contractors, was cut back earlier this month by David Wilson Homes contractors.
Peter Tout said, “I’m so disappointed that this has happened – I’ve lived nearby for ten years and this is the first time I’ve seen the area cut back so dramatically. It’s disgusting and unnecessary.
“I understand that they need to keep it under control because of visibility on the road but it’s only necessary to cut it back a metre or so; cutting it back to the fence is unacceptable. It’s a haven for wildlife, birds, newts, frogs, grass snakes, and the wildflowers on grass verges are a food source for bees and butterflies, but now their habitat has been destroyed.
“Westbury is becoming over urbanised and if the council aren’t careful, all our natural habitats will disappear and there will nowhere for the wildlife to live. It’s bad enough all the fields are being taken over by housing estates, we’re losing the banks and verges to manicured grass. Why can’t they just leave it alone?
“If it was the housing developers who have done this, they shouldn’t be allowed to do what they want – the council should take some responsibility in maintaining these areas for wildlife. We should be encouraging wildlife to thrive, not destroying our green spaces.
“I can think of plenty of areas in the town that need tidying and clearing up,, but this bank is definitely not one of them.”
Martyn Payne, technical director of David Wilson Homes said, “The small piece of land is on a steep slope and we have strimmed an area ahead of a ground survey linked to the installation of a vehicle restraint system as part of our agreement with Wiltshire County Council.”