Scores of objectors have voiced their opposition against plans to fell six trees.
East Sussex Heathcare NHS Trust (ESHT) wants to fell one oak, one bay and four yew trees to ground level in order to make way for several parking spaces as part of the proposed new MRI unit.
The trees stand just inside The Ridge entrance to St Anne’s House.
Erica Barrett said: “This application to fell six trees, all covered by a Tree Protection Order, to provide extra car parking for staff connected with the new MRI unit, which will be sited elsewhere, is unjustifiable.
“The Ridge needs all the trees in its area to counteract the ever-increasing pollution levels from Ridge traffic. Removing these trees will also remove the wildlife dependent upon them and on the area their canopies and roots have covered for at least 150 years.”
Emily Johns said: “Nationally, locally and at an institutional level we have made a commitment to reduce CO2 and to the mitigate the impacts of climate change, and encouraging more car journeys is counter to this. Felling these trees will also impact air quality in the hospital area.”
Nicholas Terdre said: “These are protected trees. There is other nearby land available for creating the desired car parking space which would not involve felling trees which have taken dozens, if not hundreds, of years to grow. This is tantamount to endorsing gratuitous vandalism.”
A spokesman for ESHT which runs the Conquest Hospital, said: “We have submitted a planning application for an extension, on the western side of the Conquest Hospital, to house a state-of-the-art MRI scanner suite. This extension requires re-providing public parking spaces on other parts of the Conquest Hospital site.
“To achieve this re-provision of car parking spaces we have carefully explored a number of options across the site and are committed to minimising the environmental impact of any changes.
“We have sought advice from an arboriculture expert and worked closely with arboriculture advisors from Hastings Borough Council in submitting this application.
“The proposed location extends an existing car park and we are aiming to protect the roots of an oak tree in the area by using a non-dig surface.”