Help stop the felling of the beautiful trees in Hastings

From: Erica Barrett, The Ridge, Hastings

Being a tree in the Borough of Hastings is a risky business. Especially if you posses a TPO (Tree Protection Order. You spend about a century getting where you are today and then along comes the screech of a chainsaw!

Under HBC Planning Application HS/TP/18/00678, the HBC ‘arborculturist’ ‘sees no reason’ why 71 – yes, seventy-one – mature trees, all with TPOs, shouldn’t be felled and then their roots poisoned at the Beauport Holiday Park on The Ridge, alongside the Link Road roundabout.

As with the recent application to fell six trees by The Ridge at the Conquest Hospital (reported in the Observer), this application lacks any of the professional reports (e.g. bats, birds) which should accompany it. Again, it is just one HBC employee who says he ‘raises no objection’ to the felling of these 71 trees and so it can apparently go through ‘on the nod’.

The excuse for this wholesale destruction is that the trees are damaging the ‘historic wall’ bounding the Park site. But the true causes of damage to the wall are twofold.

Firstly, lack of maintenance: much of the wall is overwhelmed by ivy, and when sections collapse the surrounding area is left open to weather damage for months. Secondly, HGVs judder past so close as to almost brush the wall creating massive vibration 24/7. As permitted lorry sizes and weights increase, so does damage to the wall.

These mature and glorious trees reduce pollution on a desperately over-used stretch of road and are the remaining glory of the historic Beauport Estate. They are also a precious wildlife refuge in an area of extensive roadworks and other development.

To fell 71 protected trees and then to poison their roots is vandalism.

Only another public outcry in the form of submitted objections to the application may save them.

Not only will mature trees vanish but the ground will be an ecological wasteland for generations to come. How will that benefit our already-threatened environment?

Or is this a ploy to make spaces for yet more immobile homes on the Holiday Park?