Rendlesham: MP comes under fire at forest meeting

HUNDREDS of angry forest users turned out in force to protest against controversial plans to sell off woodlands.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey came in for some strong criticism at the meeting, which was held tonight at Rendlesham Community Centre.

Nearly 150 people were left outside in the cold because there was not enough room in the hall.

Dr Coffey has said she will hold another meeting for those who were unable to get inside.

The Government is currently consulting on the future of its woodland and is looking to sell it off to either charitable trusts, communities or the private sector.

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The move has sparked fierce criticism and there are fears for all Suffolk’s forests.

Of particular concern at tonight’s meeting were the three Sandlings forests of Rendlesham, Tunstall and Dunwich.

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Tunstall Forest has been designated as “heritage” – which means it is earmarked for charity ownership – while Rendlesham and Dunwich forests have been classified as “small commercial” – which could see the land sold to a commercial operator or handed over to a community group.

Dr Coffey held the meeting to gauge people’s opinion and she can be left in little doubt as to how they feel.

Tempers flared and there were passionate pleas to leave the forests alone.

They urged Dr Coffey to be brave and listen to her constituents and vote against the proposals - or risk losing her seat.

For the full story see Saturday’s EADT.

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