Rother to auction off Bexhill woodland

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160804-165750001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160804-165750001

Rother District Council is hoping to raise around £195,000 by auctioning off several acres of land across the district, including woodland in Bexhill.

The 2.01 acre St Marys Wood, in St Marys Lane, will go under the hammer at The Marriott Hotel in London on May 9.

Plans to auction off the woodland has dismayed Bexhill resident Mike French.

Mr French, of Pembury Grove, said: “Now we all know that RDC is strapped for cash but this little wood is a delightful oasis of wildlife alive with bird song where many locals like to take their dogs.”

He added: “This area is a self-contained eco system which we need to hold onto as development is robbing us of so many.

“Massive planting schemes are all well and good but take time to mature and establish by which time some species may be lost forever.”

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “A decision was taken by cabinet in August last year to dispose of certain sites owned by the council.

“This followed a detailed review of the council’s assets which considered factors including whether sites were operational, their prospects of generating income and whether it was in the public interest to retain them.

“Disposing of sites such as these will allow us to reduce costs and reinvest the money from the sale into assets which will generate a long-term income for the council.

“In a time of severe financial pressures, it’s vital that we make the most of our limited resources and the sale of these assets will allow us to do this and to keep the burden on the taxpayer to a minimum.

“Where appropriate, certain conditions or protective covenants will be put in place to preserve the interests of the land, such as protecting open space, existing public rights of way and ancient woodland, as will be the case at St Mary’s Wood.”

Other pieces of Rother District Council owned land up for auction next month are:

* 71 acres of salt marsh and pasture land near the River Rother at Camber Fields, New Road, Rye.

* Two areas of shingle and scrubland next to the Seaspray Holiday Park, Dogs Hill Road, Winchelsea Beach.

* A 0.15 acre parcel of land next to Sycamore Cottage, Draffin Lane, Camber.

* A 0.24 acre parcel of land next to Cedar Cottages, Draffin Lane, Camber.

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