A35 – The Trees

There have been a lot of new homes built by Hoburne Developments on the Hoburne Farm Estate, adjacent to the A35 just as it leaves Hampshire and enters Dorset.

Trees along the A35
The endangered trees.
Click for larger picture (2000 x 1200px)

On May 10, 2018, an item was published on the local NextDoor blog:

Do local folk realise that Hoburne have applied for permission to take down all the pine trees that line the A35 along the back of their newly built properties on Hoburne Farm Estate? New residents are objecting to pine needles in their gardens and lack of light!

Those trees all have preservation orders on them, they screen the traffic noise and help cut air pollution.

There is a growing band of objectors to this scheme and if you would like to join them, please write to the tree officer at Christchurch Council and lobby your local councillors and MP.

Then, on 11 May, an article was in the Bournemouth Echo.
Here is a summary of the points made:

  • The trees are mainly Monterey pines, with some cypress, oak and hawthorn.
  • The idea is to incorporate the land within the new homes’ gardens.
  • Consultants – Treecall – have produced recommendations.
  • The aim is to chop down 62 of the pine trees, as they are coming to the end of their lives and will be high-maintenance. 16 trees will be retained.
  • 56 other trees will be planted, mainly hawthorn, hazel and rowan.
  • These ‘replacement’ trees are smaller than the pines. However, there will be some tall ones and other ‘understorey’ species.
  • This is what Andrew Cleaves, the consultant said: ‘There is no avoiding the fact that the loss to amenity from the removal of the Monterey pines will be significant in the short term. However, the long-term benefits to amenity, canopy cover and wildlife resulting from the proposed felling and replacement planting outweigh this short-term loss and cannot be achieved with a continued ad-hoc approach to management of the trees.’

This will be updated when there is more news. For the Echo article, click here.

23 May – Locals not happy! Echo article about the trees.

A35 Christchurch trees
Some of the trees, with new houses behind.
Click for larger picture (2000 x 1200px)

31 May – An Article in the Christchurch Times

This appeared on the back page, and as frequently happens, there was a short survey. Nine Christchurch people were asked their opinion. All were against the removal of these trees, though some thought it might be acceptable if absolutely necessary. Here are three of the comments from slightly different viewpoints. I’m afraid you’ll have to get the newspaper to see the rest!

  • ‘We are losing too many trees at the moment. It would be a real shame to lose those trees as well.’
  • ‘If there is no reason or them to be doing it then I’m 100% against it. To an extent it is acceptable because they are replanting.’
  • ‘I like the sight of the trees along that stretch of road and I would not like to see them taken down for no good reason.’

Finally, here is a chart showing the opinions:

Christchurch Times, 31 May 2018
Summary results of the feedback

5 July

Echo article – Hoburne kindly tells us that the trees they want to cut down aren’t safe! Thank you for looking after us, Hoburne!

7 September

Appeal going forward to get the trees cut down. Nothing we can do!

19 September

If something doesn’t work try something different. Well, it didn’t work! Echo report

28 September

According to the Christchurch Times, 27 September, the plan to change the use of the land to residential gardens was rejected. The application was premature because of the tree-felling appeal. This is what the planning officer, Kim Bowditch, said in her report:

‘The Council considers that the line of trees makes a valuable contribution to the landscape and are a significant landscape asset the integrity of which should be managed and maintained as a whole in the best interests of their long-term retention so that they continue to provide such contribution.

‘Dividing the ownership of the line of trees into a large number of individual properties will likely substantially increase likely pressure to fell and prune the protected trees and introduce considerable uncertainty to the quality of their maintenance.’

Her report also describes the detrimental effect this would have on the landscape.

Note that the result of the appeal about the felling of the trees has not yet been reached.

One thought on “A35 – The Trees”

  1. These trees are described as Monterey pines. How old are they? Hoburne’s claim that they “are nearing the end of their life”. This is neither apparent nor verified.
    Could they not return 1 in 3 and infill with replanting with broadleaf saplings. All 62 along an approach road to Bournemouth is a drastic loss

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