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Tonbridge residents shocked to see acre of woodland opposite Hectorage Road destroyed in less than a day

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An acre of woodland, that was home to a family of foxes and a huge range of animals, has been destroyed in less than a day.

Hectorage Road residents, who live by the area in Tonbridge, have been left shocked to see the view and wildlife they used to enjoy every day vanish in a matter of hours.

From left to right, the before and after images showing the destruction of the land behind Aimee's home
From left to right, the before and after images showing the destruction of the land behind Aimee's home

Aimee Watts, who lives opposite to the land, said: "Heavy machinery came in one morning – we had no warning as tenants – and just literally started chipping the entire area.

"And by that afternoon, there was nothing left. How people are allowed to devastate wildlife like this in such a vicious and destructive way is beyond me. And it's a huge problem for our country at the moment."

Just one tree has been left standing and those who live nearby say the area looks like a bomb site at the moment.

The area was not protected by a tree preservation order and there's no current planning application, but now the Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council has issued an article for notice on this site.

Council leader, Cllr Matt Boughton (con), said: "The article in essence removes permitted development rights and means that any development that happens on here has to have the benefits of planning permission in line with the various regulations that we have.

Aimee Watts
Aimee Watts

"And that's a really important step because that's the Borough Council saying to the landowners, that we've got questions about what's happened here."

Green councillor, Mark Hood, says this destruction should be recognised as a crime against the environment.

He hopes effective action is now taken against the landowners who have been incredibly difficult to get hold off with no number or email available online.

He said: "The houses here suffer from flooding in gardens.

"And obviously this area being covered with trees, all those active roots allow any rainfall to be absorbed slowly.

Foxes used to live in the area
Foxes used to live in the area

"If you've got no trees here, there's no active roots, then that water's just going to go straight through the soil and it's going to end up in the garden much much quicker."

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