Planners have decided a row of conifers that act as a screen to an industrial area cannot come down at present, after an application was made to the Chelmsford Council planning committee.
The conifers are at Rettendon Service Station, in Main Road, and were originally a condition of a 1983 planning application but the bid to remove them claimed the buildings needed to be protected from flooding by digging a ditch in the same vicinity.
Ron Fallows, of Rettendon Parish Council, told the meeting that there was “a depth of concern” over the issue and commented: “They safeguard the character of the area.”
He said the parish council had “been minded” to agree a drain could be built on its land, but this would be seen as a disposal of land and it could not take such action.
Ray Ride (Con, Rettendon and Runwell) said the trees “provided an effective curtain for the Rettendon community.”
Resident Katherine Clarke said the drainage issue could be resolved within the applicant’s site. She said: “It is more necessary than ever to protect the village.”
Roger Lowe, the applicant, said a ditch was not being maintained by the parish council and water was flowing off Bell Field.
Councillors decided to defer a decision for further information regarding subsidence issues.
Richard Poulter (Con, Bicknacre and East and West Hanningfield) said the removal of any trees was a major issue and said: “If we believed they were causing subsidence then they would have to be removed, but we don’t have that evidence.”
What do you think? Would you like to see the row of conifers brought down or remain where they are?