Pondtail Wood up for auction after landowner ordered to replant trees

The For Sale sign at Pondtail Wood
Image caption The Forestry Commission ordered the landowner to replant the trees

A landowner who felled hundreds of protected trees in the South Downs without permission is selling the site.

Estate agent Connells Group confirmed Pondtail Wood near Hurstpierpoint will be sold at auction on 12 September.

Protesters were appalled at the destruction of ancient woods by landowner Wineham Properties Ltd earlier this year.

The Forestry Commission ordered the trees be replanted by 30 April 2017 and looked after for 10 years.

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) also investigated and issued Stop and Enforcement Notices in June.

But solicitors for Wineham Properties Ltd lodged an appeal in July which suspended the notice until the appeal was decided or withdrawn, the SDNPA said.

Image copyright South Downs National Park Authority
Image caption The SDNPA demanded that the work stop and be rectified.

A spokesperson for the SDNPA said: "We are aware that a for sale sign went up last week. The landowner is legally entitled to sell the property.

"The notices stay with the land and so will transfer to any new owner. The owner should declare the notices prior to any sale."

The BBC has attempted to contact Wineham Properties for comment.

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