‘Our nightmare is finally over’ - Planning committee finally gives go ahead to remove Woodhall Spa trees

Chris and Bill Wainhouse in front of one of the problem trees at their home in Woodhall Spa
Chris and Bill Wainhouse in front of one of the problem trees at their home in Woodhall Spa

A Woodhall Spa couple are celebrating after winning a lengthy battle to remove three trees which they claim have made their lives hell.

Pensioners Chris and Bill Wainhouse wanted to remove the trees close to their property in Gorse Close.

They say reports showed the trees have caused subsidence, which has made their home effectively worthless.

East Lindsey District Council deferred a decision on the trees 12-months ago, but since then, the couple say the problem has got worse.

An application to remove all three trees - which are protected - was submitted to ELDC.

However, there was opposition from a village tree group while planning officers recommended removing two of the trees - and capping a third.

But ELDC’s planning committee last week gave the couple the go ahead to remove all three trees after listening to appeals by Mrs Wainhouse, Woodhall Spa Parish Council chairman David Clarke and ward district councillor Craig Leyland.

Speaking after the decision, Mrs Wainhouse said: “We are delighted - and relieved. It’s been a nightmare. We can get out on with the rest of our lives again.

“We want to thank everyone for their support - especially the Parish Council and Craig Leyland.”

Mrs Wainhouse told the committee that because of the subsidence, their lives had been made a misery.

She added: “We have lost much of the value of the property - our financial security.”

She stressed the couple were “tree-lovers” and said the application had been made with a “heavy heart.”

Coun Clarke said the issue was not about the amenity value of trees but “the quality of life.”

He said: “They can’t move house because of the damage. The delay over the last 12 months has had a degrading value on their lives.”

Coun Leyland urged the committee to allow all three trees to be removed, saying the recommendation to cap the third tree was unworkable because it was in a neighbour’s garden.

Some committee members expressed concerns about potential legal liabilities to ELDC, but Committee chairman Coun Neil Cooper said the bungalow should never have been built so close to the trees

He claimed it was a case of “greed” by developers.