Row as trees could be felled at conservation site
PUBLISHED: 16:30 05 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:10 06 October 2020
A planning application to remove trees from a conservation area in Needham Market has reignited a battle between neighbours and developers over the future of the site.
The land near School Street provides a residential area of the Suffolk town with a welcome spot of open green space.
However, over the past year, the future of the conservation area has been in doubt.
Residents were shocked to wake up to workers entering the site, to complete work on a number of trees earlier on in the year without permission.
Protests erupted and workers were forced to stop the project.
However, an application has now been submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council to remove a number of trees from the site.
The plans show that there are 27 cracked willow trees located on the site.
Of these, 16 are scheduled to be felled to the ground, a further six would see some form of coppicing and the final five trees will undergo monitoring work.
According to applicants G&K Groundworks Ltd, the reason for the need for the work is due to a risk of the trees falling.
The level or risk each tree has been worked out by the risk of “an event” - or a tree, or part of a tree falling - and the severity of consequence of the event.
Kevin Hunter, Needham Market Town Council clerk said that the work may be being done with a future housing development in mind.
He said: “We are certainly aware that there is a group in the town who certainly don’t want that site to be developed.
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“The town council has been keeping a watching brief on the situation because it had no formal planning notice come to it. The current planning application is being considered at the moment by our planning section.”
The town council has previously objected to applications for work on the conservation site.
Mr Hunter said that previous consultations have set a ‘principle’ for the stance the council will take.
He said: “I think it’s fair to say that the town council is leaning towards objection.
“The councillor in charge of planning at the council has already expressed his concerns over the plan.
“There’s certainly a chance that there will be a planning application coming on the site.
“There’s certainly concern over this amongst neighbours.
“The job of the council is to reflect the feeling of the local community and from the thoughts of our planning leading, the council is erring towards objecting against it.”
G&K Groundworks declined to comment on the plans.
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