Council rejects developer’s claim that trees “are not good specimens” as they slap preservation orders on 11 of them

 Gaul rd,March. Trees, Picture: Steve Williams.

Gaul rd,March. Trees, Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

House builders have withdrawn an application for eight bungalows on a site where Fenland District Council has stepped in to stop the felling of 11 trees.

 Gaul rd,March. Trees, Picture: Steve Williams.

Gaul rd,March. Trees, Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The council has confirmed the trees – including a rare Persian ironwood - are now protected by tree preservation orders.

Construct Reason had submitted their proposals last year for the “redundant garden” of 33 Gaul Road, March, once the home of former mayor Freddie Grounds.

The firm claimed the trees had “not been maintained properly and are not good specimens”. In total there are 36 trees on the site.

But now Fenland District Council planning committee has stepped in with preservation orders on 11 of them.

 Gaul rd,March. Trees, Picture: Steve Williams.

Gaul rd,March. Trees, Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant


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Other trees covered by the orders, which mean they could still be felled but only with authority’s permission, include an ash, two foxgloves, three hornbeams, a weeping willow, three silver birches and a sycamore.

Councillors agreed that loss of the trees would have a “significant adverse effect on local amenity”.

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The order protecting the Persian ironwood had been removed from the list by officers because it is a “small specimen” and of “little public benefit”.

However, Councillor Florrie Newell had researched the tree and said that it “is very rare and in my opinion is therefore valuable.”

Councillors also ignored concerns raised by a resident of Park View East who said his home is overshadowed by the sycamore tree, which he said is around 60 feet tall.

He feared the tree was damaging his home’s foundations and causing a loss of light.

Andrew Belsen, arboriculture consultant for Construct Reason, objected to nine of the preservation orders claiming they had little public amenity.

Councillor Peter Murphy said: “I totally agree with the tree preservation orders.”

Councillor Mike Cornwell said: “I don’t see why we have to interfere on trees in people’s private gardens, I am really against them.”

The committee voted in favour of the all the orders including adding the extra one for the Persian ironwood.

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