Developers hit back over claims of ‘mutilation’ of trees

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A company behind a new housing development in Woodhall Spa has hit back at claims they have ‘mutilated’ trees in Witham Road.

Several residents contacted the News to complain about the felling of trees in connection with a development by Broadgate Homes.

However, the company insists work has been carried out in line with planning permission - a view backed by East Lindsey District Council.

Broadgate also stress they will plant new trees.

Resident David Barker said: “I would like to draw to your attention the graphic mutilation of street trees on Witham Road.

“There is a housing development, but was it necessary to undertake such wanton mutilation of trees on such a scale that form a very imposing entry into Woodhall Spa?

“It appears the work was carried out in undue haste and has even shocked the Parish Council. There is now a line of totem pole-like trees that have replaced the imposing line of street trees.

Julie Alderson added: “For reasons only known to the developers, all the trees, including the trees that line the road, were cleared. Nobody told us that the tree lined road would be removed when they started this development.”

Ian Canham, Chief Executive of Broadgate Group, said: “I 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 I 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.

“Our design team worked alongside planning officers to ensure the new development is not only in keeping with the existing development along Witham Road, but also provides a safer pedestrian and cycle route for those people who travel Witham Road.

“We will also plant additional trees and landscaping plot side of the cycle/footway which we believe will allow this area to be brought back into the street scene of the development which over time it had moved away from, due to the shrubs, bushes etc.”

An ELDC spokesman said: “Our Planning Case Officer has been out to the site and all works appear to be in keeping with the approved development which was informed by a detailed agriculture report.”

Woodhall Spa Parish Council clerk Joann Greer said a number of residents had contacted them to complain about what she said was the ‘devastation’ of trees.