MEMBERS of a bird watching scheme in Ellesmere have appealed against plans for a housing development to be built next to the mere.
Volunteers from Heronwatch, based in the town’s mereside visitor centre, have posted on their website explaining that the construction of 22 homes on land near the natural attraction will contaminate the water and threaten wildlife and that the area needs protecting.
The houses are proposed to be built on land by Swan Hill and would reach the boundary of the Cremorne Gardens less than 50 metres from the mereside.
Edward Bevan, chairman of Heronwatch, said: “The mere relies on water from the surrounding landscape, so anything that affects it will affect the water.
“This means that the creation of hard surfaces by roads, car parks and houses can cause pollution and prevent the natural flow of water from reaching the soil and soaking through to the mere. It would interrupt the way the mere operates.
“There is potential for pollution from detergents used to wash cars, garden chemicals and oils which would flow into the mere and could poison wildlife. The mere has a high organic content and the wildlife is very adapted to these conditions. If it changes it would affect everything living in the mere.
Mr Bevan is also concerned that tourism in Ellesmere would be affected, adding: “It is a wonderful asset. It draws more visitors to the town and in that sense we should look after it and protect it.
“It seems to be a waiting game now but the town council have forwarded people’s views to county level and supported what the town wants. I can’t see that it would be accepted,” he added.
For more information and to see the Heronwatch appeal, visit www.heronwatch.org.uk