'Awful eyesore' near Therfield Heath after developer cuts down trees 'without permission'
PUBLISHED: 17:22 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:24 18 February 2020
Trees along Baldock Road in Royston have been removed - prompting residents to call the area a "complete eyesore".
The Hedera Gardens development, consisting of 279 homes, is currently being built opposite the heath.
This week, entire trees have been removed and others cut back along Baldock Road, to the bewilderment of people who live in the area or use the heath.
Liz Meissner, who has lived in Royston for more than four years, told the Crow: "Over the last two days they have cut down a huge number of trees. It's a complete eyesore.
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"They have gone way beyond what they said they would do. It looks awful.
"I walk on the heath regularly, it's our town's biggest asset. It's cavalier what they've done - they are getting rid of wildlife, and you can't just replace all those trees and all their history like that."
John Mann, managing director for Redrow Homes South Midlands, had said that: "As agreed with the council, we have removed some trees on Baldock Road to accommodate the creation of a swale to manage surface water runoff and avoid flooding. In line with our initial plans, we are working on an updated landscaping proposal to include replacement planting in the areas where trees have been removed."
However, 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."