Complaints over Norwich tree felling plan

People living near a former popular sports and leisure centre have lodged complaints with the council after it plans emerged to fell 'preserved trees' to allow access to the site.

Ocubis Ltd, the firm responsible for developing the site, off Harvey Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, last month 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 now registered complaints about the application after being invited to do so by the authority through its own procedures.

Mike Riches, 43, an IT worker from Henby Way, is one of those to have complained to the council.

Mr Riches, whose main concern is that the application to fell trees is a veiled application for an access road from Henby Way to the site, said: 'On the planning application website it says it's a tree works order to fell five trees but when you go into related documents there's architectural drawings showing Henby Way being extended into the Pinebanks site. We would like to see some kind of public consultation and some sort of judicial review about how the application has been handled by the council itself.'

Sarah O'Hara, who lives in Henby Way, who has also registered a complaint with the council, said: 'No one really knows what this application is. Is it a tree felling order? Is it a garden extension? Is it access to the development site from Henby Way? Is it an extension of Henby Way? It doesn't actually say and no one appears to know.

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'On that basis, what is the planning application for? When you ask these questions, no one can give you an answer.'

Broadland District Council's conservation manager Barbara Hornbrook has previously said the application to carry out work to protected trees, is 'not' a planning application', meaning they had 'no statutory requirement to advertise it'. She added: 'We do understand that this application has generated quite a lot of interest from nearby residents, which is why we plan to consider further neighbour representations before coming to a decision Residents can be reassured no decision will be made without their views being taken into account.'

Are you fighting an application where you live? Contact Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email

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