Riddlesdown Residents Association
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General >> General Board >> Woodland r/o Honister Heights (even nos)
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Message started by Phil_Thomas on Aug 24th, 2011 at 3:29pm

Title: Woodland r/o Honister Heights (even nos)
Post by Phil_Thomas on Aug 24th, 2011 at 3:29pm
Some residents in Honister Heights (even numbers), close to the junction of Dunmail Drive have contacted the RRA and Croydon Council today (24/8/11), about the felling of many trees behind their properties.

A contractor has been instructed by the owner, to cut down these trees on the land opposite the school gates and running behind the houses. The Contractor has advised the RRA - Brian Longman who visited the site, that he has been instructed to remove all trees that he considers to be unsafe, which in reality will probably mean most of them.

This area of land was surveyed by Croydon Council's tree preservation officer last year and they concluded that they were not worthy of formal protection by a Tree Preservation Order and as this land, unlike the land on the front of Honister Heights was not under green belt threat, a woodland order could not be imposed.

Croydon Council have been advised of this felling today and indeed the contractor told the Council yesterday that he would be undertaking this work. Hence this section apart from being green belt has no other protection and the owner may well be within his rights to be felling the trees. Brian Longman had a conversation with the contractor today and advised him that in his view a number of the trees were not unsafe and took pictures of the trees. He hopes this might result in some being left.

The RRA will now put pressure on the Council and Councillors to re-examine all the woodland protection orders, as it might now be seen that many sections of land which is green belt, in our area, could be under threat.

The Council would not visit the site today, as they say no tree preservation or green belt law is being broken !

Title: Re: Woodland r/o Honister Heights (even nos)
Post by Phil_Thomas on Aug 25th, 2011 at 3:44pm
The RRA have learnt that the Forestry Commission have visited the site today and stopped the contractor from felling further trees in this woodland and they would be taking the matter up with Croydon Council.

We are trying to establish full details but it could be that under Forestry Commission Regulations, it is illegal to fell trees in Great Britain without prior FC consent.

This is indeed good news and the RRA applauds this action taken by the Forestry Commission today. We hope it will prevent any further unnecessary felling on this piece of woodland and the many other acres surrounding it.

Title: Re: Woodland r/o Honister Heights (even nos)
Post by Phil_Thomas on Aug 27th, 2011 at 8:51am
As an update: RRA Chairman Brian Longman reports -

It appears that whether or not a tree preservation order is in force and none were on this section of woodland, you must apply to the Forestry Authority for a felling license if you want to cut down more than five cubic metres of timber - or sell more than two in any order calendar quarter.  The felling did stop for the rest of the day but the next morning Friday (26/8/11) the contractors were back with even more machinery and started to clear stumps and even more trees. It seems that Croydon Council were powerless to intervene as they say this regulation can only be enforced by the Forestry Commission. Unfortunately they have to obtain a court order to ensure felling is stopped. The Commission will now consider what line of action they now wish to pursue. At around 4pm all work stopped but a large section of woods have now been removed. We shall be meeting with Croydon Council and others at the earliest time to ensure Croydon has a plan of action.

As a further update the RRA have learnt that this "woodland" and other woodland adjoining and most of the farmland in Mitchley Ave are again being put to auction, with Barnard Marcus on 12 September 2011. Link for plot numbers, 72, 73, 139, 140, 143 & 144 http://www.barnardmarcusauctions.co.uk/VCAB/index.htm





Title: Re: Woodland r/o Honister Heights (even nos)
Post by Phil_Thomas on Aug 27th, 2011 at 12:43pm
We are getting many enquiries, so just to re-assure residents in Honister Hts (and residents in other areas, near the woods & farmland), all this land is Green Belt and no developer can build a house(s) on there under current planning regulations.

The Green Belt land can be used for agricultural purposes and/or grazing. Yes, it is a great shame that trees have been felled and hopefully the Authorities/Forestry Commission will take action against this Investment Company based in W Sussex, but don't panic that houses will be built !

Title: Re: Woodland r/o Honister Heights (even nos)
Post by Phil_Thomas on Sep 16th, 2011 at 6:44pm
From Croydon Advertiser 16 Sept 2011

http://www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk/Purley-residents-pledge-thousands-scupper/story-13342566-detail/story.html

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