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Bluebell Wood plan dropped after protests

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By Donald Turvill
Moffat
Bluebell Wood plan dropped after protests

A PROPOSAL to create new woodland in Moffat has been scrapped.

Earlier this month plans for ‘Bluebell Wood’ were put to the town’s residents via public notices and posts on social media.

The idea to plant native broadleaf trees next to Annanside playing field was first proposed by local resident Roy Anderton-Tyers, who received backing from a cohort of local organisations including Moffat Community Woodlands, Space to Grow Moffat and Moffat and District Community Council (MDCC).

But it was met with a mixed reaction online, with some arguing the scheme would block out views and light for people living near the site, whilst others who used the area for dog walking also objected.

Dumfries and Galloway Council revealed this week that 77 people had formally disagreed with the proposal, whilst ten agreed and 12 neither agreed nor disagreed.

Facebook comments were also taken into account as part of the consultation.

And earlier this week, MDCC confirmed the project will not go ahead.

Community council secretary Sylvia Moffat said at Tuesday night’s meeting that the involved parties had decided, following the consultation, that the scheme is “maybe not the best thing to go ahead at this moment in time”.

She added the backlash had in part been the result of a “misquote” which wrongly stated how many trees would be planted at Annanside.

Chair Leys Geddes remarked that it “started off as 400 and all of a sudden it was 1800”.

Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson commented: “It’s good that proposals like that come forward, but it’s equally good as well that people get to respond and give their views on it.”

Meanwhile, Roy Anderton-Tyers has expressed disappointment at the decision to halt and said that his original proposal had “succumbed to a campaign of NIMBYism and misinformation”.

He added: “My proposal was that Moffatonians should transplant wild sown tree seedlings from gardens into the unmanaged area adjacent to the Waterside Walk, to which I would donate 10,000 bulbs and wildflowers.”

The “accepted narrative” of the plans, Mr Anderton-Tyers argued, had become “an imaginary, mythical dense dark forest of 1800 trees obscuring views and sunsets”.

“Consequently,” he added, “an opportunity to create an attractive facility for our dog walkers, visitors and residents has been lost.”

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