Thank you for Chris Hassall’s letter last week (“Woodn’t it be good?”, Opinion, January 23).

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I agree with his comments and encourage people to object against the Whitbread and McDonald’s applications for loss of woodland reasons and many others.

England has about 13 per cent woodland cover, the lowest in Europe.

We live in the buffer zone of the Biosphere which means our landscape is very special indeed and needs higher protection.

The new Local Plan, out for consultation on January 31, proposes new housing and employment land around the site – all the more reason to replant the woodland for open space, especially when there are empty plots and brownfield sites at Atlantic Village and Clovelly Road Industrial Estate. I have met many people who get run-off from rainwater in their gardens and risk flooding of their homes when development has taken place uphill from them. Imagine all that extra tarmac.

Highways, it seems to me, will say the roads have capacity until there is gridlock!

There are enough planning policies to refuse it, if Torridge District Council planners decide to do so.

Then it would go to the plans committee – who are they going to support? Big business or the local community who they hopefully represent?

And we can see that some of these businesses are cutting staff or withdrawing from the area. They also employ the minimum of staff.

Smaller local shops and cafes employ more people and using what is called the “local multiplier effect” it has been proved that they spend and invest money locally.

Much more than national businesses, which take money away from the local economy to amass bigger profits for their managers and pay lower wages to workers, often in poor conditions abroad.

Miranda Cox

Bideford

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