'Diabolical' - Fury over trees felled for road widening scheme

More tree felling is taking place in Hellesdon after new plans for road widening at the Persimmon Homes development

More tree felling is taking place in Hellesdon after new plans for road widening at the Persimmon Homes development have been revealed - Credit: Archant

Anger is growing over yet more plans to topple trees as part of a controversial major development. 

As part of the Persimmon Homes project at the former Royal Norwich Golf Club in Hellesdon, a number of trees have been cut down.

The company has already faced criticism for originally planning to fell 149 trees as part of phase two of the 1,000-home development

Residents have expressed their despair as trees were felled at the end of their drive

Residents have expressed their despair as trees were felled at the end of their drive on a Persimmon housing development in Hellesdon - Credit: Mark Butler

And now fresh county council plans show road widening to support the new development will result in the loss of more trees along Drayton High Road.

Shelagh Gurney, county and district councillor for Hellesdon, said: "It's going to be very unpopular. It's just crazy and diabolical to think we have lost so many trees in Hellesdon.

"The plans for the road improvements will take out hedges and trees all over the place. They are taking out big mature trees at the back." 

Norfolk county councillor Shelagh Gurney. Photo: Shelagh Gurney

Norfolk county councillor Shelagh Gurney. Photo: Shelagh Gurney - Credit: Shelagh Gurney

A tree preservation order (TPO) which had been agreed by Broadland District Council in April for mature trees at the site had been amended to reflect new Persimmon proposals and replanting schemes for phase two.

A spokeswoman for Broadland District Council said: "Due to road widening required to support the new development at Hellesdon, it is unfortunately necessary to undertake further tree felling.

"This will be followed by a phase of highways improvements including safer pedestrian crossing points, an additional footway, swale features and replacement tree planting - in accordance with a scheme agreed with the council." 

Norfolk County Council's plans for tree felling along Drayton High Road as part of the Persimmon Homes development

Norfolk County Council's plans for tree felling along Drayton High Road as part of the Persimmon Homes development in Hellesdon - Credit: Norfolk County Council

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She said the district council continue to liaise with Persimmon on the development and they will continue to consult people as different phases of the project are submitted.

But the current tree felling has already been agreed and submitted for approval as an application for details reserved by condition.

Martin Wilby, county council member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: "These developer funded works are required as a planning condition for the development of the new homes.

Martin Wilby, Conservative county councillor. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.

Martin Wilby, Conservative county councillor. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

"We always look to help minimise the loss of trees when working with developers on schemes such as this." 

The road improvements are designed to help ease congestion at the junction of the A1067 and Middleton’s Lane where there have been long-standing traffic problems at peak times.

What Persimmon Homes has said

The developer has pointed out the road improvements were a stipulation when planning consent was granted. 

As well as creating a safer access to the development, Persimmon say the work will enable the introduction of a bus lane. 

A spokeswoman for the company said: “The tree removal for this improvement scheme has been agreed in consultation with a local tree officer and Norfolk County Council's highways department, who designed the scheme on our behalf.

“It is standard practice, where it has been deemed appropriate by the local authority, for the planning consent to lead to a Tree Protection Orders’ removal."

Trees being felled at the White Rose Park development in Hellesdon

Trees being felled at the White Rose Park development in Hellesdon - Credit: Mark Butler

The developer intends to begin the works in the coming months with the road improvement expected to begin next year.

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