65 Oxford Road/Old Gaol Willow Tree

By   11 August 2015

We have had a response to our Freedom of Information request regarding 65 Oxford Rd, and the blatant disregard of planning control in April 2012 by Orchard Developments Ltd (Also known as Cranbourne Homes).

Many thanks to Tim stringer, Tree Officer, for his reply.

The original question was as follows.

Regarding 65 Oxford Road Abingdon

Why are Cranbourne Homes/Orchard Homes/Poolway/Orchard Development Ltd (Same company directors in case you weren’t aware?), allowed to blatantly flout planning regulations regarding cutting down of trees etc. (65 Oxford Rd, Old Gaol Willow tree). What penalties have been incurred on them for this blatant vandalism, and will they ever be allowed to tender for another contract in Abingdon in the future?

 

Vale of White Horse District Council, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
OX14 4SB www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk
Planning
HEAD OF SERVICE: ADRIAN DUFFIELD
AbingdonFirst
By email:
contact@abingdonfirst.co.uk
Contact officer: Tim Stringer
planning@whitehorsedc.gov.uk

Our reference: PE/V0304/15
& FOI 15/327 (VALE)
11 August 2015
Dear Sirs
65 Oxford Road, Abingdon, OX14 2AA
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request about the above site.
I can provide the following information in answer to your questions.
The removal of the trees and shrubs at 65 Oxford Road was investigated by the
council’s enforcement team for a suspected breach of planning control in April 2014
(enforcement case reference VE14/080). It was found that there had been a breach
of control but that, as subsequent planning applications to discharge two planning
conditions were approved, the breach had been resolved.
These conditions related to the presentation of a drainage scheme and a requirement
for a substantial landscape scheme, to include trees, shrubs, low-level planting and
hard landscape areas, to be prepared and agreed prior to any further work on the
site. The drainage condition (planning application P14/V0893/DIS –
http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails
&REF=P14/V0893/DIS ) was discharged on 11 July 2014 and the landscape
condition (planning application P14/V0078/DIS –
http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails
&REF=P14/V0078/DIS ) on 23 July 2014.
The submitted and subsequently agreed landscape scheme presented by Adams
Habermehl (drawing no. 0538.1.1 and dated 20/05/2015) set out a comprehensive
replacement planting scheme. 22 extra heavy standard trees and specimen shrubs
were specified along with two hedges and several hundred shrubs to be planted
within the site.
A more recent planning application (planning application P14/V1620/FUL –
http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails
&REF=P14/V1620/FUL ) to amend the style of housing was approved on 19
December 2014. Condition 5 of that decision notice states that the approved
development shall be carried out in accordance with the landscape scheme set out
on drawing no. 0538.1.1 Revision C. There is a further condition (No. 6) that requires
the developer to replace any of the trees, shrubs or hedging that die within five years
of planting.
The removal of a maturing Willow at The Old Gaol, Abingdon was undertaken prior to
the implementation of the planning approval (Consent P08/V1237 –
http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails
&REF=P08/V1237 ) for the reconstruction of the steps and landing area adjacent to
the river. A previously submitted arboriculture report (MFE Consultancy
arboricultural survey and impact assessment dated March 2008 and referenced MFE
94-08) recommended that the crown of the tree was reduced due to the condition of
the stem unions but the council was alerted to the tree being felled in 2014. Site
investigations were undertaken and discussions held between the council’s tree
officer and an arboricultural consultant representing the developer. The findings of
the investigations determined that the Willow had been felled in contravention of the
approved tree retention plan (MFE Consultancy MFE 94-08/1) and there had been no
separate notification under the terms of the conservation area status.
On the basis that the condition of the tree would probably have precluded its
inclusion within a tree preservation order, a requirement to replace the tree with a
semi-mature Willow (to be located adjacent to where the original was removed) was
submitted to the developer. The timing of the planting was agreed to be during the
planting season following the completion of the site works adjacent to the river. A
specification for the planting pit and a programme of future maintenance were agreed
and will be monitored by the council. The next available planting season will be
December 2015 to March 2016 although the prevailing climatic conditions can
shorten or extend this time period.
I hope my response provides the information you were seeking, but if I can help any
further please contact me on the details above.
Yours sincerely
Tim Stringer
Tree Officer

You can see the original response here. 2015-08-11_FOI Response to AbingdonFirst

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