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.”


  1. It’s a self seeded weed tree.

    It’s not a tree for residential areas.

    It’s a dirty tree its sap covers everything in a horrible sticky goo.

    You can use your garden

    It supports very little wild life.

    I am all for saving trees but you cant save save ever tree that has self seeded. I would hate to have a self seeded sycamore growing over the fence from me.

    It would mean in years to come I would have a 60ft weed tree blocking all the sun light out of my garden. Sap covering everything, and garden unusable.

    I dont people who seem to want to save sycamore in a town environment. I love trees but with the right tree in the right environment.

    • I completely agree.
      Addington St has only 1 tree because it’s a narrow street lined with houses having no front gardens. There’s no space for trees.
      Ramsgate still has lots of trees.
      Ellington Park, Government Acre, King George VI Park, East Cliff, Montifiore Woods, Ramsgate Road, Boundary Road Park, Community Memirial Orchard ….
      Let’s keep our trees. Let’s plant loads more. But when a randomly seeded invasive species is causing dangerous structural damage to a listed structure, then get it out.

      • How do you suggest it is self seeded when it is an only tree in the area. It was probably planted, not that it makes any difference as it’s there and been allowed to grow to maturity with no complaints. The wall looks perfectly OK, no bowing or cracking in it. We have a row of sycamore trees in our gardens and they do not drop sap anywhere at all. There amenity value is high and they look lovely, especially when in full leaf during summer.
        I am surprised the TDC spokesman stated that without a TPO on it it has no protection. This is in contradiction to what they tell people who make enquiries to Planning. When asking TDC to put a TPO on a tree in a Conservation area we were informed it is not needed as the tree is protected under the Conservation area regs. I do believe they make things up as they go along or the staff do not know what they are talking about half the time.
        Well done Cllr Becky Wing in trying to stop this.

  2. Sap, no it’s aphid crap(digested sap), nothing to do with this being a sycamore. Even the trees you “love” will leave anything parked near/underneath covered in “honeydew”.

    • Ok I apologise for being wrong !

      But sycamore trees are the worst for it covering everything around in horrible sticky mess. Had one the garden of my old house and we cut it down. Why ?. Because it was blocking all the sun light, the sticky stuff meant we couldnt sit in the garden or use the garden. Couldnt put any washing out and it ruin the paint work on the car. Plus it had very little bird life in it. As is to open for nesting birds etc

      A sycamore in the right place is fine but its not a town tree.

  3. I wonder if she will pop along and help rebuild any structural damage this tree will cause?!.

    I’m surprised “Rent a protest” mob haven’t taken the opportunity to get some publicity with this.

    Must be too busy with all the other stuff theyve jumped on OR maybe they’re working!! (Doubt that).

  4. Difficult to believe that the wall is that important, the loss of a huge chunk of the former gas works wall for the aldi/lidl in boundary road shows how flexible listed status can be. That said the tree has no real context for its surroundings and as a stated above is little more than a self seeded weed. Sycamores can grow a considerable size , so at some point something has to give. A pity Orbit homes were not as considerate of the trees on their development in cliftonville and that TDC were able to turn such a convenient blind eye.

    • Most of the original wall around the gasworks site is still there.A newer section was demolished and some damage to one end of the original wall was repaired.

  5. A few points to make. Thanet has one of the lowest levels of tree cover in the UK! Ramsgate mirrors this. That there are trees in parks is not the point if we want to benefit from what trees do for us.
    The wall in question has a minor crack with a very small bulge. This suggests the wall has been “pushed” possibly by the tree but not necessarily so. I would expect a concerned Sanctuary to have monitored this, have they? A proportionate first step would be to gauge how the wall is behaving, is the crack and bulge getting worse.
    They then need to consider the damage that will ensue from removing the tree, will collapsing root systems cause subsidence to wall and buildings, will rainfall flood buildings with the tree no longer using the water, etc. I’m not sure but I understand a mature tree will absorb up to 100 gallons of water a week. Most if this is released by its leaves into the air.
    Sycamores produce very high levels of nectar so this tree will be sustaining masses of bees, hoverflies, ladybirds, etc. In turn birds will be feeding on these insects. This tree will be a major part of a local eco-system, like it or not.
    Trimming the tree and maintaining a limited growth may be possible. Strengthening the wall is also an option.
    If Sanctuary/TDC want to remove it entirely they’ll need to use chemical to prevent new growth from the stump. Sycamores are readily used for coppiceing due to their ability to grow from a stump.
    It would be intetesting to see the report on the tree and wall rather than TDC soundbites.

    • It would also be interesting to know whether the people who live in the house want to keep the tree or not.

    • Ramsgate’s got about the same amount of tree coverage as several other similar seaside townsIn Britain.

  6. Garry

    Theres the answer cut it right down to say 6inches and than let it grow back. But this time manager the growth.

  7. If it’s not the tree that is causing the wall to bulge it seems daft to cut it down. If it is the tree then is the situation so serious that immediate and severe action is necessary? Also, this wouldn’t address the other issues.

  8. i totally agree with the writer who said they are nothing but invasive weeds , these trees are always trouble , they have no place in a garden , and will grow in a crack in patio . turn it into firewood i say

  9. OMG let’s stop the pedantic tree variety analysis.

    Trim it, manage it. Everyone wins. Including the tree and its inhabitants.

  10. Can we form a group of concerned citizens who pledge to prune the tree right back in autumn ( after nesting season) and then maintain it? Small, narrow streets need places for insects to live. So, let’s remove something people are not happy about and turn this situation into a resident’s win win. No subsidence from root removal, no honeydew. Thank you to Becky and the other councillors who volunteer their time , on top of working full time.

  11. Hey its a nice tree but in the wrong place!

    Those wanting to retain that lovely tree could fund its removal and planting in an alternative area. Its been done before.

    Having seen the situation with my own old eyes of experience, the sycamore has to be moved of destroyed (sorry) Its a health, safety and well being concern.
    Everyone knows the health&safety aspect but the well being is possibly tenants of that building dont get much day light and they
    have to switch on their electric room lights when their neighbours donthave to.

    Removing that tree could be more environmentally friendly for us all, the tree can be relocated.

  12. Hope at last thanks to Becky Hill there is hope as long as we have councillors who care for the nature and not a brick
    Wall which can be replaced

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