Residents override arborists' advice to save trees

A group of residents in West Sussex have saved a group of nine poplars from the chop, despite advice from a local arboricultural firm that they represented a hazard.

Poplars, deemed difficult to maintain - photo: Istockphoto
Poplars, deemed difficult to maintain - photo: Istockphoto

Havant-based Home Housing Group had sought permission to fell the nine trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), part of a group in Outram Way, Hunston.

The housing association had planned to replace them with more 'suitable species' after Surveyors Technical Arboriculture Ltd said they should be regularly maintained, or replaced with a more suitable species.

Residents lobbied Chichester Borough Council claiming the trees should be managed by the council.

One local resident told the Midhurst and Petworth Observer:

"It is astonishing public money has to be wasted processing a planning application for these trees when, if the council managed their responsibilities effectively and had monitored the trees properly, an application would not be necessary."

Another resident said the trees had intrinsic value:

"This is a group of nine long, tall poplar trees, mature and extremely attractive which have several other benefits except being green," he said.

In a statement Home Housing Group – which is responsible for maintaining the trees said:

As a responsible housing provider our first duty must be the safety of our residents. Professional advice from a registered tree surgeon confirmed that some of these trees do present a hazard, which is why we applied to the local council for permission to cut some down.

Although we have not been successful in our bid to have five of the trees removed, we are reapplying to have the trees crowned by 30 per cent and tidied up. Home staff have consulted with residents throughout this process and will continue to do so to resolve the situation as soon as possible."

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