Pupils protest at plans to fell clifftop trees to create beach hut sites

Trees which will be felled to make way for another line of beach huts in Golf Road

Trees which will be felled to make way for another line of beach huts in Golf Road - Credit: Richard Cornwell

Youngsters have made their views plainly known - and told councillors a group of trees should not be felled to make way for beach huts.

East Suffolk Council has identified clifftop land off Golf Road, Felixstowe, for 18 sites for huts currently marooned on the resort's prom and unable to return to their seashore pitches because of erosion.

But to make way for the huts, between seven and 16 trees will need to be felled at the edge of a small area of woodland.

Children of Fairfield Infant School and Colneis Junior School in Felixstowe undertook a project on the planning application and have told the district council the trees must stay.

In an email responding to the proposal, the schools said: “After finding out that there were plans to chop more trees down in Felixstowe, some of our children decided to make a stand and produce a video to explain why they believe the trees should not be felled.

"They believe there must be an alternative option, rather than destroying another forest area that many species rely on for their habitat.

"The children produced a video to express their views and asked the rest of the school to vote 'for' or 'against' the trees being chopped down. 465 children voted against felling the trees, 17 children voted for felling the trees.”

If the plan is approved, the Spa prom huts would be moved to behind these ones at Golf Road, Felixstowe

If the plan is approved, the Spa prom huts would be moved to behind these ones at Golf Road, Felixstowe - Credit: RICHARD CORNWELL

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In addition to the children's opposition, the council has received 64 other objections, plus a recommendation of refusal from Felixstowe Town Council, which says the mature trees and their root systems contribute to the stability of the cliff and "which may be compromised should they be removed".

The town council is also seeking a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to protect the sycamore and white poplar trees.

East Suffolk's planning committee meets today (Monday, March 7) to decide and is recommended to approve the plans, one of four sites to relocate the huts which can no longer stay on the prom.

In a report, case officer Mark Brands said there would be compensatory planting of more appropriate native species, such as privet, hawthorn, and blackthorn at the Golf Road site - a ratio of three-to-one (resulting in the planting of between 21 to 48 shrub plants).