• Planning application submitted on land where oaks felled

    12th July 2013 | News | Claire
  • Here are my comments, submitted to the planning officers, today.

    This application is in my ward and my preliminary view is that it should be REFUSED.

    In March, four mature oak trees were felled after being deliberately and fatally damaged, it would appear, in order to gain planning permission for more dwellings than would have been permitted if the oaks remained, because of damage to roots.  This was an act of indefensible destruction of irreplaceable and magnificent trees, which supported important eco-systems.

    Three dwellings are now proposed on the land at Cornercroft and Wrenswood next door, where the hedgebank boundary has been removed between the two properties. 

    The planning application states that the area proposed for development totals about 2648 square metres, which is approximately two thirds of an acre.  This may not be regarded as overdevelopment in many locations, but it is an inappropriate density in Lower Broad Oak Road and Elsdon Lane, which are quiet leafy country lanes, with dwellings well spaced within their plots amid many mature trees and bordered by Devon banks full of flowers.

    The proposed loss of several metres of Devon hedgebank on the Lower Broad Oak Road boundary for access reasons, would add to the urbanising effect.

    I am also concerned for the remaining important oaks and beeches (now TPO’d), that the scale of loss of green space could have a detrimental impact on the roots of these trees, which in the longer term, may die.

    If the oaks had remained and a planning application had been submitted for fewer dwellings, the vegetation would have screened any impact of the dwellings and mitigated the loss of green garden space and would have probably been acceptable from a street scene perspective.

    My view is that the number and scale of proposed dwellings with their proximity to the hedgebanks and associated driveways, would have an unacceptable urbanising impact on the street scenes of both Elsdon Lane and Lower Broad Oak Road.

    I reserve my position until all the facts are known, or in the event that this application comes to committee.