‘No planning breach’ in Westhampnett tree felling

Trees are being cleared by the River Lavant in Westhampnett to make way for phase two of Barnfield Driver. Pictures Dr Ian Friel
Trees are being cleared by the River Lavant in Westhampnett to make way for phase two of Barnfield Driver. Pictures Dr Ian Friel
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No trees have been cut down at Westhampnett without permission, Chichester District Council has said.

The response comes after members of Westhampnett Road and Church Road Residents Association suggested some of the trees marked for retention had been felled.

The tree clearing is being carried out to make way for phase two of the Barnfield Drive retail park.

Though the council said no planning breach had occurred, it did apologise to neighbouring residents who were not warned the work was taking place.

A Chichester District Council spokesperson said: “Contractors went onto the site to carry out some tree clearance work which is part of wider improvement works associated with the phase two work on the former quarry and landfill site.

“This clearance work does not constitute development and no breach of planning regulations has taken place.

“The council had asked the company carrying out this clearance work to contact residents in the immediate area before work began to explain what would be happening and why.

“Unfortunately this was not done and we would like to apologise for any distress caused by this oversight on the developer’s part.

“In response to this, the developer will be writing to residents in the area to fully explain the situation.

“A number of trees are to remain on the boundary of the site while some specific trees have been identified for felling because of their poor or dangerous condition.

“In response to calls from members of the public, our officers carried out a site visit.

“They found that no breach of planning had occurred.

“None of the trees were subject to Tree Preservation Orders and the council is satisfied that all the work is being carried out in line with the appropriate guidelines.”

Aldi opens in phase one in March, joining Iceland, Wickes, Halfords and Homebase.

No retailers have yet been confirmed for phase two.

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