Chatteris man’s bid to get protected tree he claims is diseased and dangerous cut down is foiled again

The tree prompting concern at Ash Grove in Chatteris.

The tree prompting concern at Ash Grove in Chatteris. - Credit: Archant

A resident has once again been told he can’t cut down a tree he claims is diseased - and could endanger passers-by - in front of his home.

Micheal Lee, of Ash Grove, in Chatteris, first asked Fenland District Council for permission last year to cut down a sycamore tree protected by a Tree Protection Order (TPO) because it is “badly diseased”.

The tree has been inspected by several specialists and samples sent off to the Forestry Commission, he said. Their findings confirmed his fears that the tree is riddled with fungus and needs to be cut down.

The application was opposed by Chatteris Town Council, who said it was an “unnecessary felling of an apparently healthy tree under a TPO”.

Mr Lee said: “The sycamore tree has some serious health problems - over four tree specialists have looked at it, We have also sent samples to the Forestry Commission and they have confirmed the tree is very poorly.

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“The tree is only two and a half metres from the public footpath and the main road which is the main access path and road to the school with young children and mothers passing several times a day, also it leads to sheltered housing for the aged. Something must be done before someone is severely hurt.”

However, officers rejected his initial application in November, and have also dismissed his appeal, on the grounds the tree is an “attractive specimen” and in “as good as reasonably might be expected” condition.

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Officers said: “The sycamore is an attractive specimen that affords a significant degree of public amenity and we consider its loss would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

“Overall, the sycamore’s physiological condition is as good as might be expected. Whilst there is some minor dieback present, the tree did not appear to be in overall decline.

“On the basis of the information submitted with the application and my visual inspection of the sycamore, I do not consider that its removal is currently warranted on the ground of its condition.”

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