Dismay over Hastings caravan park tree-felling decision

An aerial shot of Rocklands Caravan Park. Photo by Surface2Air Media
An aerial shot of Rocklands Caravan Park. Photo by Surface2Air Media

Campaigners are calling for Hastings council to judge a caravan park’s tree-felling application in public due to the amount of opposition against it.

Rocklands Caravan Park wants to cut down a number of trees and do various work to the woodland surrounding the site.

But the Save Ecclesbourne Glen (SEG) group and Hawthorn Area Residents’ Association (HARA) oppose the scheme and nearly 50 people have commented on the application with many also against it.

But as the bid regards a tree protection order, Hastings Borough Council can delegate the decision to officers instead of having it decided by the planning committee.

HARA’s spokesman Bob Okines believes the application should be judged by a public committee due to the amount of opposition it has garnered.

“There is a right and procedure under their [the council’s] constitution that allows the consideration of a tree works application to be considered at committee,” he said.

The caravan park on East Hill wants to remove one tree of heaven, coppice four sycamore stems and one willow stem, prune and remove branches among other work for a variety of reasons.

These include trees posing a risk to safety, causing damage and the need to clear areas for storage.

Borough arboriculturalist Chris Wilken supported the vast majority of the work in their report with a few amendments, but overall consented to it.

However SEG’s Chris Hurrell objects to Mr Wilken’s report pointing to a number of reasons including the concern the arboriculturalist never visited the site and his statements about the lack of visual impact without an appropriate assessment.

Campaigners are also against the scheme due to fears about the stability of the slope and the general aesthetics if more trees are cut down.

The deadline for submitting comments was yesterday (Thursday, March 25), and campaigners are worried a decision could be made as soon as Tuesday (March 29).

To view the application click here.

The council has been contacted for comment.

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