Trees face axe in conservation zone

FELIXSTOWE: Campaigners are devastated by the decision to chop down a copse of trees in a picturesque part of the resort.

The cluster of trees near the old Felixstowe College chapel in Maybush Lane has been under threat since port company MCP Plc, which now owns the building, submitted a planning application to allow them to remove the trees.

This came after a survey found the copse, which includes a pine tree, poplar and group of holm oaks, was causing structural damage to the historic building.

But Peter Clark, 67, who lives in Maybush Lane, said: “I think there’s a great deal of consternation about it now the planning has been approved. All the people I have spoken to are quite upset about it.

“The loss of any trees in a built up area is pretty sad, no matter where they are, but this is a green belt area and a conservation zone. We’re taking away all the greenery and I think it’s wrong.”

At the time of the application, more than a dozen residents mounted a campaign against the proposals but have now been defeated as Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning committee approved the application.

Residents are also worried for the future as they believe the loss of the trees could be the first step to further development of the area.

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A council spokeswoman said: “After a site visit and careful consideration of all the evidence, including aboricultural and engineering reports plus the views of local residents, the council has approved the application.

“The trees have been growing too fast and so are threatening the future of the chapel building.”

MCP Plc has offered to plant a group of new trees which would not cause the same problems to the building.

A purple-leafed sycamore tree was found to be in a bad condition, but will be left in place and monitored closely by council officers.

n What do you think of the decision? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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