Public meeting over tree felling near Pinebanks site

People living near a former popular sports and leisure centre have been given the chance to state their concerns about plans to fell 'preserved trees' to allow access to the site at a public meeting tomorrow.

Ocubis Ltd, the firm responsible for developing the site, off Harvey Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, has told how plans being considered include sporting and amenity provision as well as residential use.

But it has since emerged that an application has been submitted to Broadland District Council to fell five trees, all protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO), in Henby Way to facilitate new access to the site.

People living in Henby Way, off Gordon Avenue, have been angered by the council's handling of the situation and have registered complaints about the application after being invited to do so by the authority through its own procedures.

And now the council has agreed to hold two open meetings with the public – the first of which will take place tomorrow – to allow them the opportunity to have their say on the proposals.

Mike Riches, 43, an IT worker from Henby Way, who is one of those to have complained to the council, said he was delighted people living in the area would now get a chance to raise their concerns.

He said: 'We're very pleased that the council has offered two open meetings so more people can put their concerns forward.

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'The council has guaranteed that no decision will be made until after the second meeting.

'Hopefully we can get answers from the council at these meetings as to what their plans are and why they've handled the application in the way they have.'

The first meeting will take place at Broadland District Council's Yarmouth Road headquarters at Thorpe Lodge at 10.30am tomorrow, with a second meeting for those Henby Way householders who cannot attend tomorrow scheduled for May 25 at 5pm.

Phil Courtier, Broadland District Council's head of development management and conservation, said: 'We are aware that matters relating to this application to replace protected trees has generated a lot of local interest, which is why we are keen to meet residents from Henby Way to discuss their concerns.

'They can be assured that no decision will be taken prior to this issue being fully discussed with them.'

Are you fighting a controversial planning application where you live? Contact reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email