The recent felling of the Common Ash trees on the Wrexham Road site close to Greenacre Road has included a number of trees (T50 to T53) that Redrow had indicated would be retained as part of the development. Tree T54 has been removed but this was as shown on the drawings. T55 has not been removed. I understand the tree felling has caused concern amongst local residents, and that you have received requests for information. I have spoken with Redrow and the Council’s Tree Team.
The felling has been acknowledged by the developer as a mistake on their part, resulting from confusion with the contractor over the denotation on the tree removal and retention plan.
However, it appears that although the removal was unexpected the trees are not protected and there is no breach of planning control. On that basis no action can be taken by the Council.
It is worth noting that the professional tree survey submitted as part of the planning application identified these Common Ash trees as either low quality or unsuitable for retention. The remaining Oak T55 was identified as of moderate quality. As such, even though the developer identified trees T50 to T53 as trees to be retained, these were not considered trees worthy of specific protection and officers would have had no objection to their removal (subject to the usual 2 for 1 replacement), had they been shown for removal as part of the development proposal.
This extract from the tree survey shows the assessment of trees T50 to T54:
As a matter of goodwill Redrow have offered to replace the trees by planting oaks and I will liaise with them on an appropriate planting scheme.
There is more information about tree felling controls here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-felling-licence-when-you-need-to-apply.
My understanding is that the developer will be continuing to carry out other tree/hedge removal across the southern part of the Wrexham Road site as per the approved plans. Carrying out such work at this time of year in advance of the bird breeding season is standard practice.
Principal Planning Officer
Cheshire West & Chester Council
Mobile: 07786 198 601