Aerial photos show scale of ‘devastating’ land clearance between Moorgate and Canklow
A retrospective planning application was rejected and an appeal dismissed, with a second application now being considered by Rotherham Council.
Google Maps images from above show the difference of the hillside before and after the land clearance.
Objector Martin Skellum, who lives nearby, said the aerial shots were heartbreaking to view.
He added: “The land has been totally decimated and what is even more difficult to fathom is why did he carry out this level of unnecessary carnage if he only wanted to extend the entrance driveway?
“It is unacceptable that none of the powers that be have attempted in any way to question Mr Baby as to his reasons for his actions or to hold him responsible for them.”
The biodiversity report submitted by Haslam Ecology on Mr Baby’s behalf claims the sloped site has developed into a habitat of “moderate to high ecological value” for invertebrates and small mammals.
But the council’s ecology department has responded, saying the document does not meet guidelines from the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
The RMBC response adds: “The guidelines outline that a desk study should be used to collect information about the site. There is no evidence of this.
“There is no evidence that google or satellite imagery was used to assess the baseline of the site.
“No biological records from the biological records centre have been included in the report; these give information as to what species are present in the area surrounding the development site.”
The application has reached the required number of objections to go before RMBC’s planning board if officers are minded to approve.
One objector said: “I strongly object to this residential encroachment onto this precious green space and the further destruction of the natural habitat of insects, bees and small animals.
“I walk through the woods, parkland and green spaces every week and am well aware of the good improvement and maintenance work carried out by Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust and volunteers.
“This application is an insult to the people who really care for this beautiful area.”