The scheme comprised the conversion of existing buildings into three flats and the construction of 30 houses. The council agreed that residential use would be acceptable in principle and would contribute to the regeneration of a brownfield site, but was concerned that the proposed density would lead to the loss of a significant number of protected trees that were sufficiently healthy to justify longer-term retention.
The reporter agreed that the trees made a significant contribution to the amenity of the immediate locality. While some would benefit from effective management, he saw no obvious sign of damage or decay and concluded that they were worthy of protection. He found no evidence that the appellant had explored alternative illustrative layouts that would allow a higher proportion of the trees to be retained.
The outline application was clearly predicated on the basis that a significant number of healthy trees would be removed, he remarked. In the light of this, he ruled that it would be inappropriate to grant permission subject to conditions on the future approval of precise details of removing specific trees and treating the survivors before development commenced.
DCS Number 100-050-505
Reporter Robert Loughridge; Inquiry.