St Peter’s Memorial Hall trustees bid to remove two trees for creation of community garden area

The strip of land at the Memorial Hall

An application to fell two maple trees in St Peter’s to make way for a community garden with raised beds and extra seating has prompted both objections and notices of support.

The Trustees of St Peter’s Memorial Hall want to create the garden and seating on a strip of land they own alongside the hall to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II and mark 100 years of the hall’s existence.

Ten comments have been lodged on Thanet council’s planning portal in response to the plans with six objections and four in support.

One objection says: “These are beautiful, very mature and established trees that provide great benefit to the community. In addition to their aesthetic value, such large trees provide shade, improved air quality, increased biodiversity and water attenuation.”

It adds: “These trees are very old and are fundamental elements of the historic environment and should not be destroyed.”

However, another resident supports the application saying: “I’ve lived (in the area) for almost 40 years. In that time these non native trees have got bigger and more problematic.

“These trees and the land belong to the memorial hall and their upkeep is a burden and huge cost to the hall.

“They drop branches, seeds and leaves which clog up the drains and gutters. As there are no road sweepers residents are left to clear the debris.

“All that grows underneath is unsightly weeds. Rubbish is regularly thrown in, often removed by residents and hall volunteers.”

The resident says it would be a boon to have seating and gardens for the village and St Peter’s Village Tour guests.

Hall trustee Gordon Eyles said: “This will be of benefit to disabled people, and encourage bees, butterflies etc.  We have a grant from Broadstairs and St Peter’s Town Council to do this work.
“To achieve this, we need to demolish two maple trees on the site, which have only grown from random seeds, and not part of a planned planting. We will plant replacement trees which will be more decorative.”

The application, which is yet to be decided, can be seen on the Thanet council planning portal, reference TCA/TH/23/1307


    • They are Norwegian maple, not English trees. They have grown from random seeds, not part of a planned planting. They are a nuisance because of the leaves causing blocked drains and slippery paths. The scheme to landscape the area which belongs to the hall, is for a community area, which will benefit everyone. Who do the current trees benefit? I can’t understand why anyone would comment who doesn’t live or work in the area, especially when the land is privately owned.

      • “Privately owned” does not mean that the owners can do what they like unchallenged and without any questions being asked. The owner is required to address the questions raised to allay concerns. For example, I see that the hall has a door opening on to this strip of land. Is there any plan to utilise this door and the land as an outside area for use by hirers of the hall? Would, for example, people be able to “spill out” of the hall and into this space? This could cause noise pollution which would materially affect nearby residents. That’s the sort of question that it seems reasonable to ask.

      • Gordon, I would sooner see a church fall down than execute a tree, but they can be dangerous if planted in the wrong place! Margate Road, Ramsgate from the Viaduct to Pysons Road, has mature trees that have caused the pavements to rise up due to their roots, sometimes in excess of 300mm. This makes it extremely dangerous and uncomfortable riding for Mobility Scooters, and the trees should be removed, and smaller ones replace them with deeper roots!

        • The two trees threatened with destruction do not disturb the surface of the pavement (see the photographs) and mobility scooters can pass by without any difficulty. The difficulty (for some pedestrians also) occurs much further on, well past the strip of land we are discussing. This is where Alderney Gardens turns into St Peters High Street. The pavement is narrowed and uneven. However, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the two trees most of us are trying to protect.

      • Half the trees in Broadstairs are non native ,would you advocate cutting them all down for that reason and I doubt very much these are self seeded in the position they’re in on a grass verge that’s mowed , how would they have survived as small saplings , they are obviously looks like there’s plenty of room for some seating and planters around the trees without cutting them down.Far too many street trees are being removed.

  1. We cannot afford to lose mature trees. Wake up! The climate is in crisis. These trees help to avoid flooding, clean the air of vehicle pollutants and release oxygen. If you agree that we need these trees head to the TDC website. Search Planning applications and then type in the application # 1307. Register, login and type your comment. Also for information there is scientific dispute about the presence of maples in pre ice-age Britain. Because Ethel don’t produce pollen in the same way as willows etc it would never be found in soil bores. But that absence of evidence does not mean absence of presence.

  2. It would be absolutely disgusting if these mature trees are chopped down. The fools who have suggested removing these beautiful and important nature habitats should be ashamed of themselves. Thanet has one of the lowest tree stocks in the whole of the UK. I really don’t get how people can justify chopping down such beautiful trees. I really am ashamed of these fools who have proposed the tree felling.

  3. I have objected to this proposal because St Peters cannot afford to lose any more mature trees.

    However, I think the strip of land is far too small and poorly placed for the purposes proposed. It is situated at the junction of Alderney Gardens and St Peters High Street and will be blighted by the coming and going of cars and delivery vans (many somewhat in excess of the statutory speed limit) and by vehicle parking all along one side of it. The view across the road is none too appealing, either…

    The memorial hall has a perfectly safe step-free area in front of it where seating could be set out for the St Peters Village Tour-ists, flowers could be grown in “window boxes” along the top of the walls and there’s already extra seating for three or four passers-by out on the pavement. The hall’s toilet facilities could be easily accessed and if funds could be found for a litter bin (and someone to empty it regularly) then that should satisfy demands for a “community” space.

    Of course, left alone the trees would still shed leaves, but that’s what trees do. If these two are felled because of falling leaves, etc, then trees everywhere are doomed.

    I am amused to see that the memory of Queen Elizabeth II has been appropriated to justify the destruction of these two trees. The Queen was a tree lover and her desire for their preservation was made quite clear when David Attenborough interviewed her in 2018. Earlier this year, Attenborough reminded us she was “a great lover of trees”. If someone truly has a desire to use this piece of land to remember the late queen, I suggest that a plaque is put up stating that the two trees were saved from destruction as a tribute to her.

  4. A criminally thought out idea. Those mature trees are beautiful to all who see them and of beneficial to much wildlife. Construct a garden around them, include them in the design, not chop them down.
    What clown thought this one out? I’m completely against the idea as proposed.

    • The trees are not beautiful. They are Norwegian maple, not an English species. They have grown ramdomly, and are a nuisance from their leaves and branches falling on cars and elsewhere.

      • Gordon Eyles. What a crass statement.
        Whatever the ethnicity of those trees they are beautiful and enhance the ambience of the area. There must be something wrong with either your eyesight or your sensibilities.

      • Norwegian Maples, similarly to Canadian Maples, are beautiful trees when mature like these. They will not just randomly pop up in a straight line on the border line. unless other mature maple trees are in the vicinity they won’t pop up at all. These trees were deliberately planted a very long time ago by people who wanted them there. The elderly and disabled love trees too.
        What a lot of nonsense, I say you only want them gone because you don’t want the bother of maintaining them and sweeping up the leaves, which are brilliant for garden compost by the way. If that is a nuisance for you then get someone else in to do it. The trees host all manner of insect life and give much enjoyment to those who live locally to them. It would be a travesty if they were felled. They should be given Tree Preservation Orders instead to stop further attempts of destruction. I hope the council tree officer will do that now.

  5. I am against the cutting down of trees which have no diseases in them, but why can’t they the trust provide a computerised plan /model/photo of what they wish it to look like when it’s finished as they say more trees will be planted which will improve the area, also it’s a long but narrow piece of land can they not envisage an area with seats and flowers etc including the trees as a shaded area as we now are getting hotter summers, three are always possible answers in ways to encapsulate the trees into plans as shading is a must why not clear the ground but leaving the trees and build seating around the trees in a circular fashion perfect seating and shaded planting all around the grounds with a lawn between beds and more seating set away from the trees for people who don’t like sitting under trees. But I feel they just want to fell the trees otherwise why haven’t they put. This to people!!!

  6. Keep the trees keep the trees keep the trees. I think I’ve made myself clear. There are far too many feeble excuses to cut down trees. They are not dangerous or in a poor condition they are just doing their bit to be trees leave them alone.

  7. I am amused to see that the memory of Queen Elizabeth II has been appropriated to justify the destruction of these two trees. The Queen was a tree lover and her desire for their preservation was made quite clear when David Attenborough interviewed her in 2018. Earlier this year, Attenborough reminded us she was “a great lover of trees”. If someone truly has a desire to use this piece of land to remember the late queen, I suggest that a plaque is put up stating that the two trees were saved from destruction as a tribute to her.

  8. This is borderline vandalism and very old-fashioned thinking.
    Mature trees are irreplaceable and make a vital contribution to carbon reduction and the wider ecosystem.
    The council needs to reject this application.

  9. I am pleased and impressed by how many people agree that felling these trees would be unjustifiable and a loss to us. However, on the planning application site there are quite a number of people supporting it, albeit giving very trivial reasons.
    If you are opposed to the destruction of these healthy mature trees and willing to try to save them, please email [email protected] with your comments (quoting planning application no. 1307).
    You can see more details and the comments by visiting

  10. I can see on the planning application that this is in a Conservation area so the trees do have some protection, only in the way of having to apply to Council though, which should result in a Tree Officer from the local authority attending to make a report on the trees themselves.
    Unless a full Tree Protection Order is placed upon them, and I can’t see why not, then they are still at risk. Sometimes, only the threat of a huge fine is enough to stop needles interference and destruction of protected trees.

    I would ask as many people as possible who love these beautiful trees to object to their destruction on the planning website at TDC.

    Mr Gordon Eyles who comments above is the applicant for the planning consent and proprietor of the Memorial Hall. He has also made comments in support of destruction on the planning application on TDC website. I hope it is refused, as if these magnificent trees are felled for reason of too many leaves then there is no hope for the rest of the few trees in Thanet.

    • I agree.
      There are a handful of comments in dupoirt of the application on the Planning Application. They are facile. For example, the poor butcher whose vans get leaves on them; the twigs that block the drain.
      I think that there is more in this than meets the eye.

      • I share your puzzlement! Why now? These trees have been in the same place for years. Every year they have shed their leaves. The situation today is no different from five years ago, ten years ago. Leaves fell on vans then as they do now!

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