MP calls for talks with developer Redrow after Royston tree felling
PUBLISHED: 10:22 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:00 19 February 2020
The North East Herts MP has requested urgent talks with Redrow Homes, after workers cut down mature trees near their housing development opposite Therfield Heath last week.
North Herts District Council has said the planning application "clearly indicated" established trees would be retained.
Sir Oliver Heald told the Crow: "As soon as I was alerted to the felling by concerned constituents, I contacted the North Herts planning department.
"They confirmed that the felling was not in line with Redrow's planning permission and they are holding urgent talks with the company. It is very disappointing that a reputable builder should allow this to happen and I will be contacting the chief executive to ask for an explanation."
Councillor Paul Clark, NHDC's Executive Member for Planning and Transport, said: "Redrow did not have permission to remove the established trees along the Baldock Road, which have been identified as an important landscape feature within the Hedera Gardens site. The developer had clearly indicated in their planning application that the mature woodland belt fronting Baldock Road was to be retained and managed, both in documentation supporting the planning application and the associated landscape master plan. NHDC's Planning Officers are currently in talks with the developer regarding how they will proceed to repair the damage done to this important landscape feature".
John Mann, managing director at Redrow Homes South Midlands, said: "As reflected in our initial application, our intention has always been to preserve where possible the landscape on Baldock Road. However, following directions from Hertfordshire County Council, some trees have been removed in order to carry out required drainage works.
"Landscape consultants are due to visit the site, and we will continue to work closely with North Hertfordshire District Council and any other stakeholders on a revised landscaping proposal, including replacement planting in the areas where trees have been removed."
UPDATE: A Hertfordshire County Council spokeswoman told the Crow on Wednesday morning: "We approved the soakaway design without approving any tree removals as this is not within our remit. Any discussions around the removal of trees would have been dealt with by the developer and North Herts District Council, as we said at the design phase."
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