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18/T/00311 | T1 and T2 (Common Robinia), T3 and T4 (Weeping Willow) - Fell. Abbotswood conservation area. | 42 Abbotswood, Guildford, GU1 1UY
  • Total Consulted: 0
  • Comments Received: 9
  • Objections: 8
  • Supporting: 0
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Dr Graham Hibbert (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 08 Jan 2019

Whilst I support the applicant's wish to improve the frontage to their property and enhance their sense of security, I wish to object to this application as it stands, for the following reasons:

1. Trees are an essential aspect of the Abbotswood conservation are and, unless damaging to property or diseased, should be preserved. In particular the corkscrew willows are very attractive.

2. The application refers to the possible later erection of a fence or a wall. The Abbotswood Character Appraisal Document specifically says that "the boundaries bordering the roads are predominantly ...hedges". Indeed, there are no walls, fences or railings along the frontage of any of the properties in this part of Abbotswood. I would request that the applicant follows this guidance.

3. The prominent nature of the plot and its relationship with the frontage of neighbouring properties is best understood by a site visit. I would request that the officer in charge of this case does indeed carry out such a site visit.

Valerie Skelhorn (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 07 Jan 2019

To view this comment please refer to the Documents list.

Mrs Carol Stevens (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 07 Jan 2019

42 Abbotswood is at the heart of the central crescent of the Abbotswood conservation area and has already suffered considerably by the removal of trees from the plot when the property was developed. The current application seeks approval for the removal of the remaining trees and possible replacement by a fence or wall. The streetscape is an important factor in the appearance of Abbotswood and the removal of these trees would leave a gaping hole.

Furthermore, the remaining trees (in particular the corkscrew willows) currently assist in the very necessary drainage of the land, excess water flowing down from the London Road across the central crescent in a series of ditches, some of which are now underground while others remain on the surface. Additional buildings, paved driveways and tree removals in the area over the past 20 years has only exacerbated the drainage issue.

Mrs Susan Hibbert (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 02 Jan 2019

In the Abbotswood Conservation Appraisal a summary of the key features of layout, open spaces and views, describes Abbotswood's "sylvan character with dense mature planting ...[and] mixed hedging of local species including privet, laurel and beech to boundaries": this is the character of the estate. At the entrance to the estate, two properties have low walls and along the London Rd the boundaries are, of necessity, secure fences; however, there are no walls in Abbotswood apart from those two entrance properties and no fences along front boundaries anywhere within the estate. To allow a wall or a fence as a front boundary treatment at number 42, which is situated in the central crescent of Abbotswood, would be totally out of character and, if the application to fell the trees is to facilitate the erection of a wall or fence along the front boundary, then it should be resisted.

In addition, it should be taken into account that this plot was denuded of all its trees by the previous owner as part of his plan to build two houses on the site; this was refused both by GBC and by the Appeal Inspector but, as Abbotswood was not at that time a Conservation Area, it was not possible to prevent the then owner from taking out the trees in the back garden, leaving a bare appearance which persist to this day. Any further removal of trees should therefore be refused. A tree fern is no replacement for two mature Robinias which, while not being of huge significance, do add to the treescape, and the corkscrew willows are most attractive. The applicant states that these trees are not diseased and are not causing damage to buildings.

In summary, I would ask that the application to fell the trees is refused and that a different approach, involving more native hedging, is considered along the front boundary.

Dr Fridrun Williams (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 21 Dec 2018

To view this comment please refer to the documents list.

Mrs Andrea Wright (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 17 Dec 2018

I wish to object to the proposed application to fell 2 common robinia and 2 weeping willow.

Despite being a conservation area we have over the past few years lost a number of trees within the area. None of the trees mentioned appear to be unhealthy or a threat to the existing house. The weeping willows are regarded by some as specimen trees of merit and therefore should be sought to be retained.

It appears that there may be an intention to remove the robinia on the boundary so that a future wall or fence can be built. When Abbotswood was set up as a conservation area, one of the key objectives was to protect its green and leafy appearance. The character appraisal specifically mentions the boundaries bordering the road being predominantly 2m high hedges in a mix of privet, laurel and beech. It was also seen as a potential threat that there could be a loss of historic boundary treatments. I would urge the council to bear in mind that the boundary treatments and the trees are important to the character of this area and therefore I would urge them to reject this application.

Mr Niels Laub (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

While I would normally support the right of people to do what they like on their own
properties, we have to accept that we live in a conservation area in which the trees make a
significant contribution to the character of the conservation area, and that ought to be protected.
For that reason, I would be disappointed to see the loss of the two mature Robinia trees which,
being right on the front boundary, form a significant part of the streetscape. According to the
application form, the applicants wish to remove the Robinia's because they are obstructing a
future possible wall or fence. My preference would be for the front hedge to be retained if possible
as hedges tend to predominate on Abbotswood. Finally I would be disappointed at the loss of two
willow trees in the front garden, which are attractive specimens in their own right. I also think it
would helpful if the ivy, which is currently choking the larger Robinia, could be cleared

Mr Reeve Martin (Neutral)

Comment submitted date: Sun 09 Dec 2018

I would support the application subject to the planting of a hedge to front boundary (not fence please) and, in view of the conservation area, maybe planting of some trees elsewhere on the plot - as discussed with the applicants.

Dr Robin Cregeen (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sun 02 Dec 2018

I would like to object to the proposed application.

T1 and 2. Felling of two pseudo acacia, one of which is mature: these are incorporated into a privet hedge on the front boundary, which goes across approximately half the frontage . If these trees are removed, it is important that they are replaced by equivalent trees. Abbotswood has suffered significant loss of greenery even after it has become a conservation area. Greenery is on the keys aspects of Abbotswood. I do not really regard trees ferns as a suitable alternative for a variety of reasons.

Given there is a privet hedge already across half the frontage, it may be more appropriate to complete the remaining half with privet. Although yew does make an attractive hedge it is very slow growing and there would be significant disruption to plant.

A wall or fence would not really be appropriate for the frontage of houses in Abbotswood being out of character

T3 and 4: these are actually corkscrew willows. Most people would regard them as specimens trees. They are far enough away from the house that they do not need removed and would respond well to pruning to keep size in check.

an Idox solution

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