Meeting set to avert another tree ‘scandal’ in Woodhall Spa

A picture taken earlier this year of some of the felled trees at the site off Witham Road, in Woodhall Spa.
A picture taken earlier this year of some of the felled trees at the site off Witham Road, in Woodhall Spa.

The Chief Executive of a leading housebuilding company has offered to meet East Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council in a bid to avert another tree ‘scandal’ in Woodhall Spa.

Earlier this year, there was widespread anger in Woodhall when Broadgate Homes were accused of ‘crucifying’ an avenue of trees on Witham Road, as part of a new housing estate.

At a meeting of Woodhall spa Parish Council last Tuesday, ELDC leader Coun Craig Leyland and LCC’s deputy leader Patricia Bradwell said they wanted to meet Broadgate representatives ahead of the next phase of the development.

Coun Leyland and Coun Bradwell are ward councillors in Woodhall.

They assured parish councillors they would be invited to the meeting.

That assurance came after some parish councillors expressed disappointment at a response they had received from a letter sent to Broadgate.

The letter asked for details about the initial tree work but parish councillors said the reply basically amounted to ‘a thank you for writing’ and offered no further information.

Coun Terry Clapton described the response as ‘dismissive and arrogant’ and said he would ‘love’ to meet representatives of Broadgate.

However, Coun Bradwell said it was important to work with the developers ahead of the next stage of the work.

She pointed out Broadgate had helped with a project in the village and added: “We need to try to work with them to achieve what is best.

“ If we go off and tell them what we think of them we will not get anywhere.”

Coun Leyland stressed no date for a meeting had been arranged.

He backed Coun Bradwell and said: “They are a private company. You can shout and bawl as much as you want, but they don’t have to attend.”

The development has full planning permission, despite opposition from many residents.

Regarding the previous tree work, Coun Leyland said Broadgate had offered an explanation before adding: “They had too broad a definition of what tree treatment is. They used that to their fullest degree.”

Coun Leyland told the meeting the trees were growing again. He said: “It will take time for them to recover. There are no dead trees there.”

Ian Canham, chief executive of Broadgate, said the company was happy to meet councillors.

He said: “What Coun Leyland has said (about the trees) is absolutely right.

“At the time, we were accused of all kinds of things but the specialists we employed to carry out the work knew what they were doing. There are no dead trees. They are growing back.”

Mr Canham added he did not want to comment on Coun Clapton’s claims about Broadgate’s reply to the parish council letter.

He did confirm he was happy for parish councillors to attend a meeting, but pointed out Broadgate were accountable to ELDC and LCC.

He added: “We want to work with them and we are happy to sit down with them.”