A petition has been handed to Thanet council demanding the authority ensures woodland in Broadstairs is replanted after trees were felled at the site by the landowner.
In May Thanet council and Kent County Council confirmed investigations and possible enforcement action were underway in a row over work that was carried out in February.
The investigation is being carried out by Thanet council over the removal of trees and an enforcement notice was due to be served by Kent County Council due to a dispute over a footpath being closed at the same site.
Land owner Parkstairs Ltd issued letters to residents prior to the works advising that contractors were to enter the site the next day to undertake health and safety works on some of the trees and paths.
The reasons cited in the letter were that a survey had “identified a number of dead and dying trees which are in a dangerous condition, some of this is due to heavy ivy growth strangling the trees.
“There is also historic storm damage which has been worsened by the recent extreme weather. In addition, there are numerous potential trips and falls across the land and a real danger to the public of falls from height due to damaged branches”.
Parkstairs said it would “take the opportunity to remove any ivy off the existing mature trees to preserve their life span and thin out some of the smaller self-seeding trees/saplings to assist the condition of the mature trees.”
But members of the Park Avenue Woodland Group said the entire site was cleared of some 41 trees and the footpath was also closed.
Now PAWG and other residents have handed in the petition which says: “We the undersigned petition the council to: Require the owner of the area of woodland off Park Avenue – East of Park Wood Close-, Broadstairs ( Land Registry Ref K61934), to replant any trees covered by tree protection orders within that area following the recent heavy felling, and to re-affirm its current view that the area should remain as open space/woodland.”
The online petition ran from May 26 to June 30 and collected 319 signatures online and 453 on paper. Broadstairs councillor Ros Binks has given her support to the group.
Group member Karen McKenzie said: “Because of Covid distancing restrictions making signature collection difficult, we sent out digital copies for people to collect personally and return to us and we also had a table outside the Post Office at the Brown Jug, where people signed. The owner of the shop also kindly collected signatures for us”
The handover was interrupted by a fire drill at the council offices and the absence of staff, who were working from home, but the petition was stamped and left at the front desk.