Chailey development plans ignore vital welfare of trees

I would hope that the entire Chailey community is aware and appreciative of the wonderful trees we have within the parish – both individual specimens and groups – young and old.

The whole of the Lewes District is blessed with good tree cover.

If you do appreciate our treescape and are aware of their value and benefits to humans and our rural setting please keep an eye out for developments that may impact upon them.

Trees are very easily stressed

or damaged – especially below ground by excavation (e.g. for service trenching and driveway construction] or by the permanent raising of soil levels over their root systems).

I am aware of a number of sites where this type of damage has occurred.

One recent development in North Chailey has adversely affected three significant mature trees that are visually prominent and before the development had long life expectancies.

Lewes District Council did not pick up on this and approved the planning application without consulting their highly competent tree officer.

Chailey Parish Council proffered no objections to the development.

I have received a formal apology from Lewes District Council.

I have asked our Parish Council to comment regarding this note but have not received a response. I am concerned that we cannot rely on our representatives and would urge Chailey residents, in fact all Lewes District residents, to be aware of this issue, especially when considering the impact of planning applications close to their own homes and their own trees.

I am not a ‘tree hugger’ and realise that some trees may need to be culled in the interest of progress and the need for more housing etc.

But, in my opinion, the subject of trees on or near development sites needs to be considered and discussed before approval is given and appropriate tree protection measures and construction methods specified for those trees that are to be retained.

Peter Thurman

North Chailey