Housing organisation issues reprieve for ‘Addington Street’ tree felling

Felling has been halted

A large Sycamore tree in Addington Street/Nelson Crescent that was due to be felled this week has had a reprieve.

Sanctuary Housing had applied to bring the tree down due to it: “overshadowing small gardens and causing structural damage to the boundary wall due to the close proximity.”

But following concerns raised by ward councillor Becky Wing and residents in the street the housing organisation says it will halt the felling until more discussion has taken place.

Cllr Becky Wing managed to halt workmen from bringing the tree down earlier this week and said there had been no notification to residents or councillors about the plans.

She also said the tree, which is the only mature tree in the street, is an important site for birds and cutting it down during nesting season would likely be illegal.

She added: “There appears to have been no ‘notices’ posted on lampposts to inform residents. This was confirmed by a number of residents I spoke to, living close by, who have also seen no notices and are shocked at the decision to fell.”

A Thanet council spokesperson said damage to the wall has outweighed the significance of retaining the tree.

The spokesperson added: “The tree in question is in the Ramsgate Conservation Area, and is impacting on a Grade II listed wall. Having sought professional advice which advised against placing a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on the tree, no TPO was made. This means the tree is not protected and works to fell it can go ahead, subject to legislation on the protection of wild birds as is set out in The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

“We do understand the value of mature trees in the district, including where trees are in conservation areas and are integral to the street scene. In this instance however, the adjacent Grade II listed wall is of significant importance to the conservation area.

“We do not issue notification letters for works to trees within a Conservation Area. Although there is no legislative requirement to do so, we do publish information on our website and put up a site notice.”

However, last night (June 22) Sanctuary confirmed it would not go forward with the work until further discussions had been held.

A spokesperson for Sanctuary said: “In early April, our tree surgeon put forward formal notice to Thanet District Council to remove the tree due to the structural damage it is causing a nearby boundary wall. This wall is starting to present a real risk to public safety.

“While no issues were raised within the required 6-week period after the notice was put in, following local concerns expressed this week, we have decided to pause the work to allow for further discussions.”