Developers fight protection order on 22 trees in Kingswood

magpie picA group of 22 protected trees are standing in the way of developers’ hopes of building homes on a plot of green land in Kingswood.

Redcliffe Homes have objected to the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) placed by South Gloucestershire Council’s arboricultural officers on the group of ash trees at 72 Magpie Bottom Lane.

The developers, based in Chipping Sodbury, lodged plans with the council last summer to knock down the bungalow on the 1.7 acre site and build 22 homes with 44 parking spaces. The scheme included widening the cul-de-sac to 4.1 metres to create a new access.

A report from Redcliffe’s tree experts said the 22 ash trees on the western boundary were of low quality and not a constraint on development.

But South Gloucestershire Council tree officers, who visited the site on 1st October, promptly served a TPO on Redcliffe Homes. The officers consider the trees are highly visible from public viewpoints and worthy of protection.

A few days after the TPO was served, the developers withdrew their planning application, saying they would be addressing “issues” with the scheme.

As a result of their objecting to the TPO, the council’s sites inspection (east) sub-committee will visit Magpie Bottom Lane on Friday 16th January.

There was anger and dismay from local people when the developers’ plans were announced, with local people concerned about the scale of the development on the green space, access, traffic and parking, and the effect on wildlife.

A mix of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses and flats were proposed, with the emphasis on family houses “to meet local need”.

The site is very close to the Harolds Way cul-de-sac where the council last year resolved to grant permission for a care home for the elderly on a plot of overgrown land amid concerns about the impact of the extra traffic. There is also outline planning permission for 12 homes.