A Ramsgate resident says he is devastated at the felling of ten trees in his street – one of which he planted as a sapling 30 years ago.
Jocelyn McCarthy, 88, says all ten trees in Vale Square Gardens had preservation orders and he is shocked that they were cut down despite being healthy.
The Vale Square Residents Association member said: “There was one that I had planted in memory of a resident 30 years ago and that has been taken down. They had TPOs and are not supposed to be taken down unless they are diseased or dying and these were healthy.”
Mr McCarthy, who in 2018 led a successful campaign to get Vale Square east garden withdrawn from auction after Thanet council listed it for asset disposal, says in the past 35 years he has only ever gained permission for crowning on trees in the gardens and is shocked that the felling was approved.
He said: “At that time the arborator was John Hammond but he left and the council does not have anyone now.
“I’m upset about the Canadian Maple as a family member had brought it back and we planted it. This is a conservation area and the trees had TPOs in what is classed as a wooded area.”
Approval was given by Thanet council earlier this year to remove the trees. An Arboricultural Assessment and Recommendation for the authority was carried out based on documents provided with the application and publicly available aerial photos and Google Street View images.
The reason for removal was given as the Sycamore, Ash and Norway Maple trees had created a dense canopy that suppressed the growth of a number of young trees of other species including Beech, Cherry, Silver Birch, Horse Chestnut and Lime.
The report says: “The trees in the gardens are well established, some 16m tall, and are a locally important landscape feature. They make a significant contribution to the character of this part of the Ramsgate Conservation Area. As a collective group or feature the trees may be considered to have High amenity value.
“However, they have been quite densely planted or self seeded, resulting in trees growing in very tight groups, suppressing growth and development, and many have relatively narrow stems supporting high crowns. Individual trees within the area could be therefore be considered of Low value.”
The recommendation was to allow the fellings subject to a condition requiring the planting of 2 Wild Cherry, 2 Lime, 2 Beech and a Silver Birch tree.