Torbay Council sacrifices trees for housing

Torbay Council is facing flak after doing a u-turn to override its own tree preservation orders to allow homes to be built.

Developers will build nearly 50 flats for the elderly, which involved chopping down several trees thought to be as old as 50 years.

A local authority representative said it was very rare for Torbay's planning committee to override tree preservation orders.

"But the felling of an ash, pine and tree of heaven was granted for this development to be able to go ahead. On this occasion it was felt to be totally justified."

This was due to conditions placed on the developer of the Dunboyne site including a request for nine mature trees to be planted and extensive landscaping.

But local councillor and LibDem leader Steve Darling said: "It's one rule for ordinary people and another rule for the council. It brings the council into disrepute."

A representative for the developer, Sanctuary Housing, said the firm had worked closely with Torbay's tree officer.


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