The following letter was sent to Ashford Borough Council by Alan Bates, Chairman Tenterden and District Residents Association (photos follow):
I was shocked to see your written report submitted to the Tent1 Joint Steering Group advising that ABC had agreed to the removal of the Oak tree on the Taylor Wimpey part of the Tent1 site. On behalf of the Tenterden Residents Association I would like to formally object. Please ensure that no action is taken to fell or otherwise damage the tree until this has been re-considered and the public allowed the opportunity to comment.
The text of the ABC website in relation to the Tree Preservation Order covering this tree (Designated T3 in the TPO 7, 2014) states:
“These trees are an important landscape feature within the land designated for housing development in the Ashford Borough Council Local Development Framework (Policy TENT 1 – Tenterden southern extension, phase A). The trees in question are mature oaks and willows, growing as individuals and groups, and broadleaved woodland on the boundaries of the development site. In addition, there is a very large, ancient oak (T3) in the centre of the site. The individual trees and woodland to the west of Six Fields Path are already protected by Tree Preservation Order No.23, 1990. This new Order is being made to extend the same level of protection to the remaining significant trees on the site.
Yet, despite this there seems to be an almost casual acceptance by ABC of the removal of , this “very large ancient oak”the largest tree on the site, probably well over 100 years old. The replacement by a tree with girth of 500mm (approx. 150mm diameter) will take about 50 years to achieve even half the size of the existing Oak. A “high quality circular bench” is not “a central feature” rather it is an insult to the people of Tenterden who participated in the Community Workshops in order to ensure that the Tent1 development was a credit to the Town.
What other plans have Taylor Wimpey and ABC considered? No other proposals appear to have been put forward for public comment, why not?
Chairman Tenterden and District Residents Association