Sadness as tree felling gathers pace for housing development

Tree felling in Drayton. Anger over tree felling at the former David Rice Hospital. Pictures: Britta

Tree felling in Drayton at the former David Rice Hospital - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Villagers on the outskirts of the city are angry after trees near their homes were felled as part of a housing development.

Planning permission has been granted for nearly 30 homes to be built on the site of the former David Rice Hospital site in Drayton. 

Broadland District Council approved the plans which means more than 100 mature trees are currently being chopped down. 

Leonie Hemstock, co-owner of the Hemstock's Hair and Beauty Salon located opposite the site, said many customers have raised concerns over the felling.

Sisters Harri and Leonie Photo: Harri Hemstock

Leonie Hemstock is pictured with her sister Harri, co-owners of the Hemstock's Hair and Beauty Salon - Credit: Harri Hemstock

She said: "I was just talking to my sister about it saying how sad it is to see trees disappearing every day.

"Those woods were used all the time and a lot of those living in the estate nearby have dogs and would go for a walk there.

Tree felling in Drayton. Anger over tree felling at the former David Rice Hospital. Pictures: Britta

Tree felling in Drayton - Credit: Brittany Woodman

"I think it will be a shock for everyone who lives here. Drayton is a very close-knit community but it now seems to be getting bigger and a lot of people are worried."

Drayton Parish Council has secured the south end of the woodland site to ensure it remains open to the public for exercise. 

Tree felling in Drayton. Anger over tree felling at the former David Rice Hospital.

There has been anger over tree felling at the former David Rice Hospital in Drayton - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Chairman Graham Everett said: "It is a difficult one because there is nothing we can really do about it now Broadland District Council has approved the plans.

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"We have shared people's concerns but we are limited in what we can do. The north side was a mental health building many, many years ago." 

Chairman of Drayton Parish Council Graham Everett at traffic calming measures on Drayton Hall Lane.

Drayton Parish Council chairman Graham Everett - Credit: Archant

The parish council has held talks with the developers amid fears over the new homes paving the way for further development at a later date. 

Sarah Hawken, parish council clerk, said: "We are aware that a number of our parishioners have concerns regarding the felling of trees at the David Rice development.

"Compliance with the planning conditions of this development resides with Broadland District Council, and not Drayton Parish Council.”

Tree felling in Drayton. Anger over tree felling at the former David Rice Hospital. Pictures: Britta

Tree felling in Drayton at the former David Rice Hospital - Credit: Brittany Woodman

A total of 10 of the 29 homes will be affordable and additional greenery will be planted to mitigate the loss of trees.

Broadland District Council has been contacted. 

The Lind Trust is listed as the applicant and efforts have been made to contact them.