Response to Revised Tree Planting Proposal for 15 Westfield Road

8 Southdown Road
Westbury on Trym
12 September 2023

Dear Mr Wilkinson

Planning Application 23/03160/X: 15 Westfield Road- Variation of Condition

The Society notes the intention to replace the silver birch tree, T01, which should not have been felled with two such trees in accordance with the Bristol Tree Standard.

We have no objection to the replacement of T01. However, we object most strongly to the other tree required being added to the already over- intense tree planting to the rear garden.

One of the points the Society made in respect of the appeal landscape proposals was to do with the density of the replacement planting the small rear gardens. In the appeal submission, plot 4 was very similar to the subsequent plot 3 in the approved plans (see drawing on page 2). In the approved plans there are 4 trees to be planted in a line of only 10 metres, acer campestre (field maple), alnus cordata (Italian alder) and Betula pendula (silver birch), which all grow to heights of 25-30 metres. This is the same as was proposed in the appeal application. The Society made the point that the density of tree planting is such that the trees will not be able to thrive and were they to do so, the occupiers would find the density a nuisance and wish to remove them. There are also more ‘garden sized’ trees to be planted in plot 3, a Victoria plum, an apple tree and 3 bird cherry. The latter at 3 metre centres are again too close to one another.

In his consideration of this objection, the Inspector agreed with this point. In para 16 he writes: ‘I share the concerns expressed regarding the potential longevity of the proposed trees due to the number which would be provided within fairly small gardens in close proximity to the proposed dwellings’. It would have contributed to his view that the appeal proposal would have caused significant harm to the character and appearance of the area.

Accordingly, we consider it fundamentally wrong to add yet another large and quick growing silver birch tree into plot 3. We consider that this tree has to be provided off site in view of the amount of planting in the small rear plots. The frontage to Kingsley House adjacent would benefit from a tree, but it does not look possible to find public land on which it could be planted. There are two locations within the village where we would suggest planting the replacement tree. Either in the central reservation in the High Street, near the Westbury Court Road junction or in the grass verge outside the Co-op car park on Westbury Court Road, where the Society has been approached about the provision of a tree. We would be happy to discuss this further.

Yours sincerely
A C Renshaw RMRTPI
For the Westbury on Trym Society