Tesco behind Titnore Woods eviction

Marki Brown mark at tlio.org.uk
Thu Aug 31 12:11:14 BST 2006

Tescos are revealed to be major part of the buiness-interest lobbying for the controversial development in NW Worthing, which will destory one of only 2 remaining areas of ancient woodland in Sussex.
This e-mail contains:
1). article by Porkbolter re: Tescos involvement from IMC
2). Front-Page article from The Argus, daily newspaper in Sussex, and
3). The ill-gotten gain of the Somerset family and how Sussex faces major Ancient Woodland Loss to private homes bonanza

The protest against the destruction of Titnore Woods near Brighton, to
make way for a Tesco superstore and 875 houses, faces imminent eviction.
The bailiffs hired by Tesco have an office in Leeds.

>From www.eco-action.org/porkbolter/camp-titnore.html:

"WITH eviction now looking extremely imminent at Camp Titnore in Worthing, information has been gained on the firms who will be trying to force the protesters off the ancient woodland they are trying to protect. Today (Wednesday August 30) there was a lot of police activity in the area around the site and protesters are calling for people to get down to the camp NOW to help them defend their occupied land, with the appeal lost and the go-ahead given to clear the site.

The involvement of supermarket giant Tesco in the development has been
known all along - it wants to build a massive new store next to the
875-home estate and it is rumoured that the disastrous road widening in Titnore Lane has been arranged purely for its delivery lorries coming off the A27. Another coincidence was that the legal papers served on the camp all turned up in special plastic bags marked "Tesco".

And it has now emerged that the eviction will be handled, again
coincidentally, by the same two firms used by Tesco in its eviction of the Shepton Mallet anti-Tesco protest site. The bailiffs are Sherforce, based in Braintree, Essex, tel 0845 890 9205, email  enquiries at sherforce.net, website www.sherforce.net They have apparently never handled a site involving tunnels before and people might want to ask them how they propose to do so. The specialist climbers being used are Highline Access of Bristol (tel 0870 0435531).

Titnore protesters have invited the bailiffs to a health and safety
meeting, as is standard procedure in many protest sites, but they were not interested."

The bailiffs, Sherforce, have an office in Leeds at Aquis House, Greek
Street, LEEDS LS1 5RU if you want to let them know what you think...

Protesters prepare for eviction bid
The Argus
Wed 30th Aug, 2006

Protesters fighting to save an area of ancient woodland say they believe they are just hours away from eviction.

The group, based at Titnore Woods in Durrington, Worthing, are campaigning to protect 210 trees which landowners want to fell to straighten a road which would serve 875 new houses and a Tesco superstore.

On Tuesday a High Court judge rejected a challenge made by the group to an order made in July which gave landowners Clem and Fitzroy Somerset right of possession.

High court bailiffs were then instructed to evict the protesters.

A resident called Julie, who has been supporting the camp but asked not to be named in full, said: "We are expecting they could move on to the camp first thing on Thursday morning. It is imminent.

We believe the bailiffs have been instructed to begin the eviction within three days of the High Court judgement."

Campaigner Ash, who is based on the site, said: "The police may try and close the area in the night in preparation.

"There have been people we believe are undercover police in the area
asking suspicious questions about the site. We're preparing ourselves to have to stay up the trees and have been stockpiling food and water. We've been building fences round the site and various other things to try and slow them down."

When the bailiffs arrive the protesters will lock themselves in the 15
tree houses and underground tunnels they have built.

The bailiffs, accompanied by police officers, are expected to use cherry pickers and climbing teams to move the protesters.

Ash said the group yesterday requested a meeting with the bailiffs to
discuss health and safety issues which was turned down.

He said: "We have got structures and tunnels here which, if they go enter and pull people out, people will get hurt."

The protesters have received support from residents who have made
donations to the camp and offered to act as legal observers once the
eviction gets underway.

Ash said: "There's a constant flow of locals giving support."

3). Sussex faces major Ancient Woodland Loss to private homes bonanza

Worthing residents are disgusted at the way Worthing Borough Council has
ignored overwhelming opposition to the planned housing development in West
Durrington which will see the destruction of Titnore Woods. They are
meekly bowing down to the interests of the landowners and the property
developers, in this unquestioned rush to extend the cash-bonanza they will

Titnore Woods in West Durrington near Worthing is one of only two ancient
woodlands surviving on the Sussex coastal plain. It is home to a rich
diversity of wildlife, including protected species like great crested
newts, bats, baadgers, skylarks and corn buntings.

The uneven development of the economy means that grossly unsustainable
levels of housing development are being pushed into the south east, where
biodiversity is at it’s highest & where there is a great density of
vulnerable semi-natural historic landscapes. This free market housing
bonanza will greatly benefit the applicant landowners & developers (the
Somerset family stand to make over £60 million from the sale of land to
developers), whilst the poor are largely disenfranchised and will continue
to suffer from poor sub-standard housing.

Titnore, Goring & Clapham Woods, west of Worthing, straddle the edge of
the Sussex coastal plain & the dip slope of the Downs. They lie across
several geologies (London clay, Reading beds, pebble beds,
clay-with-flints, & chalk), giving a variety of plant communities, with
everywhere a dazzling display of bluebells, under Oak, Birch, Elm, Beech &
Maple. The woods have Dormice & White Admiral butterfly. The threatened
part has the desperately rare Conopid fly - Leopoldius Brevirostris.
Titnore and Clapham Woods show the way our Downland woods would have
looked 200 years ago, before the age of regimented plantations. Titnore &
Goring are only one of only two ancient woodland complexes surviving on
the coastal plain of Sussex, & the other one (Binsted Woods at Arundel) is
also threatened by development (from the proposed Arundel A27 bypass).

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