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Grayshott Forum

Kingswood Firs TPO & H9 (24 posts)

Topic tags: H9, TPO
  • Profile picture of Peter Hatch Peter Hatch said 1 year, 11 months ago:

    Probably a standard letter from someone not in the loop at EHDC. He will be now!

    Ferris has also reassured me his letter going into the post tonight, to all of us in receipt of the TPO, will put our minds at rest so let’s wait for that before we man the ramparts.

  • Profile picture of Peter Hatch Peter Hatch said 1 year, 11 months ago:

    If you were in receipt of the TPO notice you should have received a letter from Ferris today giving his opinion on it.

    Did you find it helpful? What are your views of the TPO now? Do we need to take any further action? individual objections? public meeting?

    My ongoing concern is that it still looks as though some of us may eventually be saddled with area TPO’s on parts of our garden if we are lucky enough to have anything that resembles a small woodland.

    I’m sorry but it may look like a woodland but it is in fact a private garden with trees in it. I have no objection to TPO’s on individually specified trees because at least you can argue the toss over whether they can be seen from outside the garden and therefore have public visual amenity or not.

    If we end up with an area of garden under a TPO we might as well hand it over to the community so they can enjoy it to the full.

    TPO’s, and in particular Area TPO’s, will punish those responsible residents who have looked after their trees and resisted the temptation, as many didn’t, to cut them down whilst the going was good.

    I have no idea what the financial implications of TPO’s are on the potential sale value of our properties but I can’t imagine this is a positive.

    So what next?

  • Profile picture of Martin Sims Martin Sims said 1 year, 11 months ago:

    As Ferris states at the end of his letter, it is his “opinion as your local ward councillor and must not be construed in any way to represent the official position of the District Council”, so his letter does nothing to ease my concerns about the blunt instrument approach the council has adopted. Like you, I fear almost two thirds of my private garden could be designated as an area TPO, meaning I will have to apply to the council almost every week in order to trim something that is blocking a path, or growing out of control. I encourage everyone to make individual objections and if we can’t get a public meeting then I would very much like to meet up with other concerned parties on a less formal basis to discuss what we can do to prevent this situation.

  • Profile picture of Nikki Jewell Nikki Jewell said 1 year, 11 months ago:

    I quite like Grayshott’s trees actually, and would prefer them not to be all cut down so that people can make a fast buck from development in the future. Already in Stoney Bottom house after house has cleared trees in preparation from their back gardens. Yes, we need housing in the village – but we need genuinely affordable housing not more executive homes costing £750 000.

    I look out over the valley to Kingwood Firs and walk around the whole village often enough. Trees may be in private gardens but they contribute to a happy life for everyone who sees them and they need to be looked after.

    Will everyone’s homes be worth the same if Grayshott becomes yet more of an extension of Croydon? I doubt it.

  • Profile picture of Peter Hatch Peter Hatch said 1 year, 11 months ago:

    Good comments Nikki I think we all share the view that we like to look at trees rather than watch them being felled for development but this is not what is happening here. The area covered by the TPO in Kingswood Firs etc is also protected by H9 planning status which prevents infilling – so the reason why some residents choose to clear their gardens of trees is nothing to do with building houses – perhaps partly to do with extending them but mainly I think due to controlling their overgrowth. We all have trees in out gardens around here – some more than others. Some residents have kept them at bay over the years and enjoy the benefits of extra light and space whereas others neglect the garden as it turns into Sherwood forest. A happy medium is probably what is required and I can easily understand a new owner wanting to restore a neglected garden, that has grown into a small woodland, back into a garden. My neighbours garden is a case in point. The previous owner allowed it to turn into something akin to jungle and we suffered increasing loss of light over 34 years – I am pleased to say some of those trees nearer their house have now gone and we are the beneficiaries – in fact I was cheering the chain saws on. I am not aware of anyone who has completely removed all trees from their gardens.

    So we all like trees. You’d be daft to choose to live in Kingswood Firs if you didn’t. The trouble is too many trees or too big trees can be a blight and this is something you come to appreciate if you live here long enough. Overly large trees too near our houses can present an ever present danger during high winds and rob our rooms of natural light. Trees have the ability to self sow at an alarming rate and so it is a constant task to remove seedlings and saplings that try and invade the non wooded parts of our gardens. We like to be able to walk about between the trees so they also need to be removed from the undergrowth. This is all called woodland management and here in Kingswood Firs we are good at it.

    And the trouble here is we have being thwarted from looking after our gardens for six months and possibly longer. It is a massive over-reaction to a minor problem of a few residents overdoing the tree management in the opinion of a few other residents. The vast majority who live here respect their trees look after them and it is just not fair we have all been tarred with the same brush.

    Returning to your main point that it is nice to look at trees. Agreed. But there is absolutely no danger that we can ever remove them as fast as their ability to grow and reproduce. My garden lays testament to this – as does Kingswood Firs – as does Grayshott – as does all the national trust land around here where there is a constant deliberate struggle to keep the trees at bay and maintain the valuable low lying heathland habitat. My point is trees have their place but they have every intention of taking over if we let them.

    There is also one final point I will make by posing a question. Is it right that society puts the rights of the people to look at trees above the rights of the people that own them? TPO’s do just that. They are the equivalent of putting listed status on trees. But trees have a natural life span, they are replaceable and they are everywhere. How would you feel if your house along with all your neighbours houses was suddenly subjected to listed status which prevented you and them from touching them without permission? I hope you would agree it would be a massive and totally unjustified infringement of your rights as property owners. That is what we feel about the TPO.

  • Profile picture of Martin Sims Martin Sims said 1 year, 11 months ago:

    I agree with Peter. I love my trees very much – they take up two thirds of my garden – and I spend a great deal of time looking after them to make sure they are healthy; thinning saplings, maintaining access, lopping and trimming branches to guarantee they are getting enough light, so I am not against TPOs in general.

    What I am against is a blanket TPO which says that for the next six months I cannot look after my trees. I can’t even pull a self-seeded sapling out of my lawn without first filling-in a form, making a map to show where the sapling is, give a detailed description of how I’m going to pull it out and the reason why, wait for up to eight weeks for someone to come round from the council to examine the sapling and then give me permission – or not – to pull it out. I can’t even prune my own apple tree without written permission! It is quite simply, bonkers.

    You might think that six months is quite a short time, so I should just let everything run wild for half a year, but why should I? Imagine if the average gardener was told they couldn’t mow their lawn, weed their flower beds, prune their roses or harvest their vegetables for six months without permission from the council. They too would be equally annoyed.

  • Profile picture of John Winchester John Winchester said 1 year, 11 months ago:

    Totally agree with Martin, but what can we do.
    The council say it was the only way to stop wholesale felling of trees. I feel we need to work with the council instead of being confrontational, our aims are similar.
    Perhaps there could be a codicil to the TPO allowing normal tree management, clearing small saplings, Laurel etc for the time being.
    Should blanket TPO’s be proposed instead of single trees later down the road perhaps we should consider clubbing together and engaging lawyers, only as a last resort if the council will not be sensible.

  • Profile picture of Peter Hatch Peter Hatch said 1 year, 11 months ago:

    We are where we are and I am not sure there is anything we can achieve (other than complaining) at the moment. If we object now they will just say well it is only temporary and it will be lifted anyway.

    So our energy is probably best reserved for scrutinising the subsequent TPO’s and the impact on us as individual householders and us as a community and depending on the outcome take action – yes with the help of lawyers if we are being wronged.

    But in the meantime I would like to scrutinise how we got here and why. Ferris has confirmed what led to the TPO and that it was the end result of neighbours concerns and complaints to him and the parish council. I want to understand the motives of the residents who complained, whoever they are. Is it that they are genuine tree huggers? Is it that they object to the potential development that may ensue? Is it because they object to the new residents full stop. Is it because they are immediate neighbours directly affected by the felling/development/residents or just neighbours worried it might be their turn next? Have the neighbours that objected ever removed any trees from their gardens?

    So let’s hear from the original complainers please – not just the new ones. I would be interested to hear what their complaint was and if they are pleased with the TPO outcome or feeling guilty at the upset this has caused their innocent neighbours. My guess is they will be keeping their heads well down.

  • Profile picture of Peter Hatch Peter Hatch said 1 year, 10 months ago:

    It look like we have been led up the garden path…

    Posted today on Nextdoor “We had our inspection today at no.xx. Both inspectors were very friendly and pleasant, and complemented us on the 10 years of work we’ve put into our garden, but – unfortunately for us – have decided to cover half our garden with a Woodland protection order.”

    This is exactly what we were reassured would not happen…

    Has anyone else been treated similarly?

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