THE claims by the Escrick Park Estate that the proposed Heronby village along the A19 between York and Selby would enhance biodiversity, as contained in your article "First Look at Plans for New Village", are misleading and absurd.

An ancient woodland, Heron Wood, sits right at the centre of the greenfield site for the proposed 4,000 new homes set out in the so-called masterplan. Ancient woodland like this is rare and precious and rightly protected, a status somehow not mentioned on the Heronby website.

Decades of construction traffic, dust and pollution, and then being surrounded by thousands of houses, would inevitably result over time in the degradation of Heron Wood.

There would be a permanent loss of biodiversity, for example through cutting off the bats, birds and other creatures that live in and around Heron Wood from other hedgerows and ancient woods, such as nearby Moreby Wood, which would also be damaged.

This must surely be the first time in British history that a developer has claimed they have to be allowed to build 4,000 houses on green fields before they can fell some maturing conifers and plant some shrubs!

If Heronby went ahead no trees and shrubs could ever again be planted on the majority of the 600 acre site, as what are now fields would be covered with brick, concrete and tarmac.

Fortunately there is still time to object to the proposal: Selby District Council's consultation on its New Local Plan runs until March 12.

Peter Edmonds