Published: 12:00, 11 January 2018
Golfers and wildlife lovers are upset by work being carried out at a golf course.
People who use Hoo’s Deangate Ridge Golf Course say machinery has not only churned up the course, but has also ripped natural woodland and habitat down.
Tractors and other landscaping vehicles turned up at the site in Duxcourt Road earlier this month to carry out what Medway Council say is seasonal maintenance.
However, some believe the work has gone too far.
People who have contacted the Messenger think the work has been carried out so the site is clear of wildlife, thus clearing the way for any planning applications for housing as it is rumoured Medway Council has been offered £35m for the site from a developer.
The council said the land has not been sold, no decisions on selling it have been made and it has not received an offer.
Another proposed development nearby for 5,000 homes, on the former MoD site at Lodge Hill, have been shelved after the plans were withdrawn by the landowner following delays because the site is home to nesting nightingales.
Rochester resident David Williams, 57, who plays at the site, said: “Heavy machinery moved in and seemed to be deliberately targeting areas of the course inhabited by wildlife.
“Given the recent shelving of Lodge Hill due to environmental issues, it has been considered by many as a cynical and deliberate move to eradicate any areas of the land used by rare species such as woodpeckers, pheasants, buzzards, hawks, nightingales and the species they prey on.
“This will minimise any environmental impact survey required for development to go ahead.”
Colin Hutson, who worked at the site for 18 years, said: “I am so distraught at the woods coming down, they were lovely woods.
“What is this world coming to when the council can just go out and cut down perfectly good trees, raping natural land is disgusting.”
Another man who is upset about the work is Mark Porter who said: “All the habitat is being destroyed for no reason.
"It has always been a part of the golf course for years.
"There is no need to do this and the members were not informed of this for some reason.”
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