Anger continues after Spa trees ‘mutilated’

Some of the felled trees at the site off Witham Road, in Woodhall Spa.
Some of the felled trees at the site off Witham Road, in Woodhall Spa.

East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland has intimated there is nothing the authority can do following claims developers have ‘mutilated’ trees in the village as part of a new housing estate.

The News revealed last week that residents were furious mature trees had been felled on Witham Road as part of a development by Broadgate Homes.

They complained the work had ‘mutilated’ what had previously been a tree-lined approach to the village centre.

Coun Leyland, who is a ward member for Woodhall Spa, wrote on his Facebook page that although the work was ‘almost brutal’, it had been carried out within the terms of the planning permission granted by ELDC.

He added: “I have had a number of residents contact me over the tree works.

“The works are preparatory to the start of building works. The contrast from what existed to what is now left is stark and is almost brutal.

“The pollarding of the lime trees is harsher than I would have expected.

“I met with the contract leader to seek reassurance that the works are compliant with the tree plan that accompanied the passed planning application.

“All the healthy lime trees will remain with the self set growth in the drainage dyke being removed.

“The dyke will then be cleansed so that it can fully function as the highway drainage for Witham Road as far as the roundabout.

“There has also been tree and self set clearance around Abbey Lane.

“While I know this is causing concern to residents, the tree works are as outlined in the planning permission.”

A statement from Broadgate Homes said: “We can confirm that any site clearance we have done has been done within the confines of what we are permitted to do under the terms of the planning approval.

“Whilst we know the site looks different currently because of the shrubs and bushes we have removed from the edge of the tree line, we have of course retained the more well established trees along the site frontage which will form part of the vista as the development progresses.

“We worked alongside planning officers to ensure the new development is not only in keeping with the existing development along Witham Road but provides a safer pedestrian and cycle route.’

The News has continued to receive complaints from residents who claim the area has been ruined forever.

Philip Simmons said: “I believe that the appearance of one of the main routes into Woodhall Spa has been ruined by the developers of new homes.

“Witham Road was an attractive tree lined avenue with established trees on both sides of the road.”

Andrew Jameson added: “We know there has to be some development in Woodhall but I can’t believe these trees have been allowed to be removed.

“The developers and East Lindsey should hang their heads in shame.”

Parish clerk Joann Greer confirmed she had received numerous complaints.

She said: “People feel very strongly about this. Woodhall is a beautiful village renowned for trees.”

The parish council is likely to discuss the matter at their meeting in February.