Dismay is being voiced over land works marking the start of construction of a massive new housing estate in Horsham.
Residents are upset over the loss of countryside and the effects of building works on local wildlife.
It is planned to build 2,750 new homes, a new business complex, new school and sports hub, along with new pedestrian, cycle and roadways on greenfield land north of Horsham.
Landowners Legal & General announced yesterday that preparatory work is starting this week on the scheme with the removal of hedgerows on the north side of the A264/Rusper Road roundabout.
The company says the hedgerows will eventually be replaced as part of landscaping following construction - due to start early next year.
But local residents have taken to social media to mourn the loss of countryside.
Clare Lawton said on the County Times website: “More of our beautiful Sussex countryside and wildlife habitat disappearing under concrete, once it’s gone, it’s gone - there is nothing more precious on this earth than green space and we are destroying it!”
Diane Elaine said: “Such a sad day. our countryside is being wrecked. We are destroying our habitat let alone the wildlife’s.”
Josephine Robathan added: “That’s a HUGE IMPACT on the wildlife in that area. Yes I understand the need for more housing but why can’t they leave some hedgerows in situ and build round them.”
Joanna Elizabeth Forster said: “West Sussex is going to hell in a hand cart. So sad. At least we have the option to move but where will the wildlife go?”
Paul Maynard More asked: “More houses, why! Destroying countryside full of wildlife and greenery. And what about the lmpact on the environment?” Initial works start on building 2,750-home estate in Horsham