Friday, 7 December 2012

Lib Dems Tree Hypocrisy

How the Trees Looked in July 
Lib Dem controlled Eastleigh Borough Council recently destroyed a number of mature trees in Grange Road, Hedge End.  This despite claiming on their web site that "The Council is committed to protecting, improving and developing the Borough's tree stock in public places."

The Town Council's Highways and Planning Committee to its credit has tried to get to the bottom of this travesty.   In the minutes of its 5th December meeting it was reported that the chain-saw wielding Borough:

Firstly tried to blame local residents for damaging the trees in the first place, despite claiming on its web site that it will "ensure that trees on public land are retained wherever possible and are given appropriate protection from the effects of development and construction activities.."

Secondly revealed that the "works" were approved  by the 100% Lib Dem Hedge End, West End and Botley Local Area Committee.

Thirdly admitted that the trees were not on publicly owned land in the first place.  It's a shame they didn't bother to find that out before they sent in the publicy financed chain saws.

Finally have stated that the trees will not be replaced, despite claiming on their web site that  "A range of species will be selected for new and replacement planting taking into account their suitability to each site."

While they thought the trees were on public land, the Council had the "full intention of making a claim for enforcement and criminal damage against the resident."  But now they find they have destroyed trees on somebody else's land, they are washing their hands of the whole matter.


  1. What has happened to these trees Keith, have they been completely felled or pollarded?

    1. They've since been cut down to ground level, but the picture's not so good ;-)

  2. Who's land was it, and do they want their trees back?!

    1. Apparently the land is still in the ownership of the developer. The point with trees though, is that they are a public amenity even if on private land, and the Council won't let people cut down protected trees on their own property. The Council's advice pamphlet to householders is called "So - You've Bought a Tree with a House in the Garden".

      At the very least I think the Council should replace the trees either with something more appropriate to the location or somewhere less likely to cause conflict with residents.

    2. Why is this just making the news? The house owner cut back these trees months ago over a period of some weeks and left them as they are in the picture.It looked like they'd been left to possibly grow back. He did a very good job taking all the bits away in his car. Then probably 2-3 weeks after finishing they were chopped off at ground level. Didn't know the council did that!