A PETITION aimed at stopping the felling of 70 trees in Dummer has now gained more than 87,000 signatures.

Last week, the Gazette reported that a petition launched by Christine Northam aimed at saving these trees from destruction had reached its goal of 1,500 signatures in just four days.

Seven days on, the plea has massively taken off, with that total reached more than 58 times over, and the goal now increased to 150,000.

Posting in the group, organiser Christine specifically urged Basingstoke residents to show their support to make it a priority for local representatives.

She added: "The strength of opposition is evident from this massive support. BUT WE NEED TO KEEP GOING BY SHARING."

Earlier this month, Basingstoke council’s Development Control Committee greenlit plans for a major distribution hub, thought to be occupied by Amazon, on the ‘Basingstoke Gateway’ land by Junction 7 of the M3.

At the meeting, concerns were raised by various interested parties about the effect on nearby , with plans indicating the felling of dozens of historic trees.

Parish councillor for Dummer Julian Jones said there will be "disruption" to a host of wildlife as a result while, during debate, Cllr Chris Tomblin said he was "mortified" by "no objection" from environmental health.

Cllr Hannah Golding (Conservative, Oakley and North Waltham) added: "I have seen nothing that would reassure me that this land would be protected in order to mitigate the landscape harm."

The Change.org petition reads: “These trees line the old road into the village of Dummer so are of historical significance. They also are the home of up to 2,500 different species of wildlife.”

It continued: “The oak trees and others on the site combat CO2 and NO2 gasses from existing motorway traffic but if the warehouse is built, the trees won’t be there to act as lungs for the extra 1,600 daily HGV movements emanating from the warehouse. Trees help to reduce pollution.

“ Basingstoke Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and is committed to a net zero carbon borough by 2030. We need to stop the destruction of these valuable trees.”

Commenters on the petition voiced their support, with one writing: “trees are beautiful. Warehouses are not.”

Another added: “Shame on you Basingstoke council planning committee”.

The Gazette has contacted Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust for comment.