Necessary felling

Mrs Spurway’s speculative letter (Journal September 1) regarding computer scanning of responses to Planning Applications at East Devon District Council solely for the words object or objection, would seem as unlikely and inaccurate as her accompanying reference to the felling of a tree at Elvestone.

Her letter to The Journal:

? Erroneously claims that the tree felled in Elvestone represented one “of the few that are left in the grounds of Elvestone” when, in fact there, are 40 trees remaining in Elvestone’s garden, where it is likely that they represent one of the greatest densities of mature trees in the many private gardens in Budleigh Salterton.

? Omits to mention that, in addition to the several letters of objection to the planning application to which she refers, EDDC also received letters written on behalf of local residents who gave their support to the proposal.

? Omits to mention that the application was made on the express recommendation of a well-respected local, professional arboriculturist, based on his assessment of the damage being inflicted on adjacent trees by the specimen in question and as an example of the decades of neglect to which the trees in Elvestone have been subjected.

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The current residents have been obliged - at significant cost to themselves - to counter this neglect by engaging him to survey each of the trees and provide an appropriate rolling programme of remedy and care, which sensibly addresses the need for tree management. Tree preservation is not best served by following a policy of stagnation. Regrettably, and after a carefully considered judgement, it becomes, on occasions, painfully apparent that a tree must be felled.

There is no reason to believe, or justification to suggest, that EDDC did other than to consider carefully the material sent to it and to form a balanced judgment that approval of the application was fully merited, based on all the public comment it received and the professional arboricultural opinion.

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