Proposals to replace Royston trees being finalised by housing developer

PUBLISHED: 17:02 04 March 2020

Trees have been felled along Baldock Road in Royston. Picture: David Hatton

Trees have been felled along Baldock Road in Royston. Picture: David Hatton

David H Hatton, 2020

Housing developer Redrow Homes is finalising a revised landscaping scheme proposal for its 279-home Hedera Gardens site in Royston, three weeks after trees were cut down without approval from the county or district councils.

Trees were felled along Baldock Road opposite Therfield Heath - prompting residents to call the site an 'eyesore'.

Redrow said they needed to cut down the trees to satisfy Herts County Council's drainage requirements - but HCC said they didn't approve tree felling.

A Redrow spokeswoman has now said: "We are working closely with the planning and highways authorities on a revised landscaping scheme to include replacement planting in the areas where trees have been removed.

"As it stands, the proposal is still being finalised."

Following his representations, North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald has welcomed news that Redrow will plant trees, and has been told by North Herts District Council's planning department they are looking for a three to one planting ratio with the inclusion of a range of tree sizes appropriate to the long term health of the woodland - though the finalised plans are not confirmed at this stage.

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Commenting, Royston resident Sir Oliver said: "Like most Roystonians, I was disappointed to see the trees had been cut down and I am pleased that the council has insisted on a landscaping plan based on a ratio of three new trees for each one lost.

"This should leave us better placed environmentally and with a good selection of tree species.

"The new trees will include a mix of maturity."

About the replanting, the clerk to the Conservators of the Heath and Greens said last week: "We have insisted that the trees be allowed to grow to the original height of those that have been removed, to ensure that the visual impact of the heath and the town is mitigated.

"We await a response, as many do, and we hope that Redrow do their utmost to repair the damage they have done."

An NHDC spokeswoman said the council expecting a revised landscaping plan shortly from Redrow, and that the plan will be sent to the Royston Town Council and the conservators for comment as soon as it is received.

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