Orbit housing reprieve for ‘under threat’ trees in Elm Court

The trees have had a reprieve

Two trees in Westgate that were due to be felled have been given a reprieve at the eleventh hour following pleas from campaigners.

A sycamore, which has already been pollarded, and a silver birch at Elm Court in Elm Grove will now stay after landowners Orbit sought further expert advice..

Members of Thanet Trees had contacted the district tree officer to ask for an emergency preservation order on the birch but this failed.

Dan Bird, Head of Estate Services at Orbit, said today (May 5): “We are pleased to be able to announce that we will not have to remove either of the trees at Elm Court at this time.

“Having met with our specialist tree contractor this morning, they have told us that it is not necessary for them to be felled. They are going to continue to monitor the situation for us on regular basis to ensure that the trees remain healthy.”

Thanet Trees members are now asking the council to update the online TPO search facility on the website so it is less difficult to use and have asked for an outline of the powers the council tree officer has in terms of planning and protection.

They have also asked when TDC will be announcing climate emergency plans with regards trees, saying increasing protection of mature trees in Thanet should be a central component of the plan and are demanding “a better strategy is put in place” to urgently protect all mature trees in Thanet.


  1. You know it’s the right thing to do for OUR PLANET and our well being so A BIG THANK YOU TO ORBIT HOUSING. Now our wildlife gets a reprieve as well.

    • You could do more for the planet by getting rid of your car, and walking it cycling instead.

  2. Oh bore off Thanet Trees and AMELIA ! Didn’t care much about the trees when you were printing your commercial Magazine ‘Amelia Magazine’ or when you drive your kids to Canterbury to school each day nice to see you are practising your own climate emergency!!! Absolute Hippocrate hippie!!

    This DFL is taking us Thanetians for a right bunch of MUGS!!!

    • Will TDC ,those “money-hungry evil morons” (I quote) see the error of their ways now? It’s all getting very complicated,, what with trees, herbicides, Pleasurama and the port.

  3. Perhaps Thanet Trees could campaign for stronger action by the government against people who pave or concrete over their front gardens. Perhaps some of them could stop attributing souls and spirits to trees. Perhaps they could drop their impractical desire to protect all mature trees in Thanet and realize that some trees (eg Leyland cypress) do not have significant benefits for soil quality or native wildlife.

  4. It just goes to show. So often, decisions are made at some management level and everyone is told that the decision was “the only one possible, inevitable, in everybody’s interest,unfortunate but has to be done so please don’t cause a fuss, don’t listen to the fringe protesters” etc etc (I can’t think of any other standard responses , but there are lots).
    Then, if enough fuss is made, and enough questions are asked, we find that no thought whatsoever has gone into the decision but the people who decided are too busy and indifferent to change their minds.
    Well done to the “troublemakers”(that’s another management word for people who won’t accept bad planning) who stopped the loss of these trees.

  5. It just goes to show what people can achieve when we all stand together for a common cause. Thank you Kathy Bailes for covering this story on our behalf and approaching Orbit to confirm that they will not be felling the trees as requested by Alan Chapman. Another success story for Thanet Trees.

  6. Hopefully the sycamore will spring back into life next year but it looks too badly pollarded which could kill it, we shall see. But at least a sapling is growing next to it which will take it’s place if needed.
    TDC need to get their planning department improved and a tree officer who looks after trees and can quickly intervene when a dispute has arisen. Sometime it does need to act immediately but they seem to not know that! The TDC website is a mess and the search tool is pretty useless.

    Thank you for the reprieve Orbit’s Dan Bird. Please, no more healthy trees felled and badly pollarded please.

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