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treehouse protest to save Titnore Wood

from BBC News Monday, 29 May 2006

Twelve protesters fighting plans to cut down 210 trees in West Sussex have set up camp in two 30ft-high tree houses. The Protect Our Woodland group has put up notices claiming squatters' rights in Titnore Wood, Durrington. Titnore Wood is a designated Site of Nature Conservation importance with oak, ash, birch and willow trees.

Landowner Clem Somerset said he will try to move protesters as quickly as possible from the site, where three developers are set to build 875 homes. The house-building project is a joint venture between Heron Group, Persimmon Homes and Bryant Homes, part of Taylor Woodrow. Mr Somerset also said he would take legal action to remove the campaigners and is seeking advice.

Sussex Police visited the site on Saturday to check for damage.

A spokesman for the campaign group said: "It's a huge juggernaut of property development. It's all about profit. The companies building these houses are huge and they're going to make millions and the landowner is going to make millions and I don't think local people are going to be able to afford to live there. We value green space and countryside more than money." He said the protesters were making "a defiant act". "Police say we have got to move but we're here and we're going to make a show of how strongly we feel," he added.

Campaigners, who claimed the landowner had employed private security to monitor the camp, said they wanted more people to join them.

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