Safety concerns see axe poised on 19 trees near Lymington housing site

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trees Lower Pennington Lane
The trees are close to a site earmarked for 100 homes

A CONTENTIOUS plan to axe 19 trees close to a Lymington site earmarked for up to 100 homes has been recommended for approval.

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The final decision will be made by New Forest District Council’s planning committee next Wednesday – which has also been urged to impose a condition that all the trees be replaced.

Hayden’s Arboricultural Consultants applied to fell the mature trees at Lower Pennington Lane – close to the area known as Site 6 in New Forest District Council’s Local Plan.

It was ratified for development by NFDC despite complaints by the Pennington and Lymington Lanes Society and the Lymington Society – and both groups as well as neighbouring residents are opposed to the tree felling.

The application by Hayden’s – which was commissioned by Belco Holdings – claims 10 Monterey pine, six Monterey cypress, and an English oak, elm and horse chestnut should go to “mitigate” health-and-safety problems and “promote longevity in retained trees”.

Opponents, including both societies and neighbouring residents, hit out and noted a survey of the trees in 2016 assessed all but two as having a life expectancy of 10-20 years.

They were opposed to the development of the nearby site amid fears it would affect the local distinctiveness of the rural lanes which feed it as significant changes would need to be made to them to accommodate the extra traffic the homes would bring.

Documents published ahead of the planning meeting show senior NFDC tree officer Hannah Chalmers recommends approval as 16 out of the 19 trees require “removal on the grounds of safety”.

She has suggested 10 sessile oak trees and nine Scots pine trees be planted before 31st March 2022 in the same vicinity as the original trees, to preserve the character of the local area.

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