'Please object and help to save a backdrop of trees'

PUBLISHED: 02:01 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:06 10 June 2010

I read your newspaper dated Thursday, May 8, and found my own property listed under the planning notices with a proposal to remove branches and reduce the height and crowns of a number of oak trees that form part of an important avenue of oaks along the d

I read your newspaper dated Thursday, May 8, and found my own property listed under the planning notices with a proposal to remove branches and reduce the height and crowns of a number of oak trees that form part of an important avenue of oaks along the drive of Watch Hill in Cricket Field Lane. Presumably an oversight at the district council offices had prevented my being notified about this application.On consulting EDDC's planning online, I established that the application had been made by my neighbour, Mr Anthony Dealer, of Shire House, on behalf of his and the adjacent property, Tregarnon, the rear of both of which face onto Watch Hill's drive and form part of a fairly recent development of three detached houses.I would like to point out that a similar application was made by Mr Dealer in 2004 and this was refused by EDDC on the grounds that: "These trees have been the subject of relatively significant previous pruning works in order to reduce the degree of overhang. The Local Planning Authority do not consider the present re-growth necessitates further pruning operation which would reduce the trees' visual amenity value and potentially affect their well being."Mr Dealer went on to appeal against this decision and the appeal was dismissed by the Secretary of State on September 29, 2004.Residents of Budleigh Salterton may not be aware that there is a blanket Tree Preservation Order on all trees at this property and similar neighbouring properties along the ridge. Mr Dealer's reason for the proposed work is stated as ''to reduce the dominance of trees over neighbouring properties".The report made by the Government Officer in 2004, following the appeal, stated: "The appeal trees make a substantial contribution to visual amenity in the area, softening the appearance of residential dwellings, particularly the more modern properties. The appeal trees have been in situ much longer than the appellant's dwelling and the appellants would have been aware of the trees when they purchased the property. I consider that the appeal tees are an important part of the natural landscape, especially when viewed from south of the appeal site."As there has been no significant growth of the oaks since this report, then the report still stands and is as relevant today. I would therefore like to ask that, in an effort to avoid any further desecration of the tree line in this area of Budleigh Salterton, which forms a vital part of the backdrop to the town, all interested parties please send in their letters of objection against this proposal at the earliest opportunity.S Hill,Watch Hill, Cricket Field Lane, Budleigh Salterton.

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