100-year-old iconic Pulborough landmark facing removal

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A much-loved Pulborough landmark looks set to be removed after more than 100 years.

The landmark - a Victorian-era Scots pine tree - is facing the chop because of fears that it is becoming dangerous and could topple over.

The tree has leant over the A29 road at the top of Church Hill in Pulborough since the late 19th century and has become cherished by villagers.

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Local resident David Hurst said: “It is a landmark for Pulborough and performs the valuable job of making traffic, especially large lorries, cautious as they approach that point before descending Church Hill.”

The landmark tree in Pulborough SUS-200720-150514001The landmark tree in Pulborough SUS-200720-150514001
The landmark tree in Pulborough SUS-200720-150514001

But the tree’s owner is currently seeking permission from Horsham District Coluncil to fell the tree - the subject of a tree preservation order - because she fears it could topple onto traffic or pedestrians.

In a letter to the district council she said: “I am very well aware that this bizarre leaning tree is iconic in the village and much loved. I too love it and do not

want to see its demise.” But, she said, she feared for its safety.

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Most locals also do not want to see the historic Scots pine - Pinus sylvestris - go, but accept there may be no option.

Pulborough Parish Council, in a letter to district planners, said: “This is a much-loved Pulborough landmark which also has a traffic-calming effect and, if at all possible, should be preserved.”

But specialists from Oakwood Tree Consultants say that recent inspections of the tree had shown that it was leaning over more than previously and there was evidence of decay in its stem.

Three previous planning applications, by previous owners, to have the 15-metre tall tree removed, were all rejected.

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But experts are now recommending that the tree should be felled as soon as practicable ‘with regret.’

A neighbour living near the tree asked for the pine to be saved if possible. ”Church Hill has been designated a ‘lorry route’,” he said. “It is however at the heart of old Pulborough and retains considerable charm and historic importance.”

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