• Ottery councillor “persecutes” developer over felling veteran oaks

    27th June 2014 | News | Claire
  • Just who is this recalcitrant individual who persecutes developers?

    It’s me!

    And the developers, are of course, Mr and Mrs Headon of H&H Prestige Homes, who I have written about previously on this blog, as they arranged for two healthy 150 year old oak trees to be ringbarked, then felled, last autumn, prior to submitting a planning application.

    Dozens of mature trees in the back garden of Crantock, West Hill Road, also met the same fate.

    Last week, following a site inspection, EDDC’s planning committee approved two bungalows for Crantock’s back garden.  It was at this meeting that Mrs Headon, made her accusations of persecution.

    She is reported to have said:  “The only reason I can see that this application has come before the committee is because Cllr Claire Wright has decided to persecute us over the felling of two oaks.”

    Mrs Headon claimed that a tree report that they had commissioned had identified a “relatively high risk” that large branches could fall onto West Hill Road.

    Unfortunately, Mr and Mrs Headon declined to share this tree report with EDDC’s tree officers when asked.

    EDDC’s tree officers examined the trees and found that they were healthy and if they had not been ringbarked and left dead standing, they would have lived for at least another 100 years.

    Following the first blog-post I wrote about this issue, an angry Mrs Headon arrived uninvited at my house demanding that I meet with her and her husband.

    I refused. I don’t have private meetings with developers.

    A week or so later, a letter from the Headons’ solicitors arrived, threatening legal action against me for publishing what they claimed to be inaccurate information about the trees being healthy. I sent the solicitor the EDDC tree officer’s report,  I did not receive a reply.

    There was then further unpleasantness towards me from the Headons, which I am not permitted to give information about.

    Mr and Mrs Headon have now agreed to plant eight metre oaks on either side of the drive to replace (the veteran oaks were irreplaceable of course) the trees they felled.

    West Hill residents (and I am sure many people generally) take a dim view of such behaviour from developers. I very much hope that other developers will think twice before taking similar action.

    There are many individuals who take the attitude that the most effective way to get what they want is to try and squash any kind of dissent from the community, through whatever means is available to them.

    I am afraid that these sorts of tactics don’t work with me.

    Read about the background to this story here – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/councillors_to_inspect_land_where_developer_felled_dozens_of_trees_before_s

    Photograph:  The two oaks as they stood ringbarked, last October.