The reporter noted the security fence had already been erected to extend parts of the industrial site into the existing woodland right up to the edge of an existing footpath through the woods. Although a tree survey had been submitted with the application showing 96 trees, including mature trees of amenity value, would be removed, no details of compensatory planting or mitigation had been submitted. The reporter considered that some of the trees to be removed as part of the extension of the appeal site were prominent features of the local townscape and their removal would have a detrimental effect on the character and local amenity of the area when seen from certain viewpoints. He also felt there would be insufficient available space remaining, as a result of the extension, to allow for any potential replacement trees to develop to the scale of those to be removed.
The area of woodland the proposal sought to include within the extension was classified as open space in relation to a recent housing allocation and formed part of a green space network in the adopted local plan, being located at a gateway point where a residential road joined the public footpath network. As such, the reporter held the site played an important role in the transition from urban to semi-natural open space for walkers, cyclists and wildlife and its loss would result in the loss of publicly accessible recreation space and have a significant detrimental impact on the character and amenity of the existing woodland footpath.
Reporter: Stuart West; Written representations