Former golf course trees saved despite developer objections

Architects' image of the Persimmon development on the former Royal Norwich Golf Club.

Architects' image of the Persimmon development on the former Royal Norwich Golf Club. - Credit: Concept Architecture/Persimmon

Mature trees on the former Royal Norwich Golf Course will be protected, despite objections from a housing developer. 

Broadland District Council put a provisional tree preservation order (TPO) in place in October 2020, after neighbours complained of unnecessary removal at the former Royal Norwich Golf Club.    

At an appeals meeting on Wednesday, Broadland councillors agreed to confirm the TPO despite objections from Persimmon Homes, the developers.  

Persimmon Homes has plans for 1,000 properties on the site off Drayton High Road, with a 157-home second phase approved at a meeting last month.    

The former Royal Norwich golf course in Hellesdon, which is being developed by Persimmon Picture: De

The former Royal Norwich golf course in Hellesdon, which is being developed by Persimmon Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Alison Cornish, who spoke on behalf of the developer, argued that the TPO was unnecessary and should not be in place in areas where detailed planning permission had been given.  

“It’s not our intention to wilfully remove trees we don’t need to remove,” she said.  

“It’s our intention to retain as many trees on this site as we can and for the council to identify which of those trees should be kept and have the most value.  


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“It’s not that we’re just going in there with a bulldozer.”  

Council officer Ben Burgess said Persimmon was asked for a plan to see how the entire six-phase development would impact the trees but this had not been forthcoming.  

Shelagh Gurney. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Shelagh Gurney. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Archant

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“Then we can work together to determine which trees can be retained, we haven’t had that entire picture,” he said.  

Broadland councillor Shelagh Gurney raised concerns that the tree survey carried out by the developers was inaccurate, with oak trees that could be retained ignored when surrounded by others.  

She added: “[People] have already complained to me in phase one that they have bought houses off a site plan which was showing far more trees than the numbers going to be retained and how let down they feel by Persimmon.”  

Ms Cornish stressed the company was not against protecting trees but questioned whether this order was the right one, adding the company had extensive replanting plans. 

After a private deliberation, the appeals panel agreed to confirm the TPO. 

While the order has been confirmed, this does not mean all the trees will have to stay. 

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