Redrow says felling was ‘necessary’ as Royston trees dispute goes on
PUBLISHED: 17:04 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:25 24 February 2020
Developer Redrow Homes has said it was necessary to remove trees along Baldock Road in Royston to satisfy requirements, however neither district nor county council have said they approved the measure.
Two weeks ago, trees were felled by Redrow near their Hedera Gardens development of 279 homes currently being built opposite Therfield Heath.
North Herts District Council said that Redrow did not have the permission to remove the trees, which had been identified as an important landscape feature within the Hedera Gardens site - and that planning officers were currently in talks with the developer regarding how they will proceed to repair the damage done.
Redrow said trees were removed under the direction of Herts County Council, to accommodate the creation of a swale to manage surface water run-off and avoid flooding.
But, it was the soakaway design that was approved, not the tree removals - according to the county council.
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In response, John Mann, managing director at Redrow Homes South Midlands, has said: "We're committed to enhancing biodiversity across our developments, including the retention of existing trees and landscaping features wherever possible.
"In this case, it has unfortunately been necessary to remove a number of trees to satisfy Herts County Council's requirements in relation to access. These works were the subject of a planning condition discharged by NHDC.
"We continue to work with the planning and highways authorities to agree and then implement a revised landscaping scheme that will enrich biodiversity for the wider community."
A HCC spokeswoman said: "We do not require developers to remove trees.
"When planning applications are made, the Highway Authority - as a statutory consultee - has an opportunity to comment, leading to a recommendation for approval, or a recommendation for refusal based upon the development causing a severe impact upon the Highway network.
"Other consultees consider the impact on landscaping and biodiversity. Designers have to ensure that prospective roads are adequately drained for the future, but Highways does not insist that drainage features have to be in certain locations causing tree loss."