‘Update’ for the attention of residents who have inquired about the removal of trees in Stoke Hill.
City Councillor for Pennsylvania Peter Holland has received a number of enquiries from residents about the work going on in Stoke Hill.
''The land is owned by the Company who hold the deed for Lyncombe Close, Lebannon Close, Monterey Gardens and Yew Tree Close.
I had a site meeting at Stoke Hill, where the trees have been removed/pollarded, with the Site Foreman and Site Manager of the Estate.
I am informed that;
- The bank had been collapsing into the footpath and is still doing so further down the hill.
- The stone retaining wall had all but fallen onto the footpath during recent years.
- There was a serious risk to life and limb to pedestrians and with potentially 700 children daily passing the bank urgent action was needed.
- There was only the bottom row of stones in place—the others had fallen out over time.
- The cause of the erosion was the roots of the large oaks which became exposed when the loose material was removed.
- The oaks were then pollarded and it is anticipated that the trees will recover and grow again but to a reduced height.
- Further erosion is thought to have been caused by beaver activity in the bank and there was evidence this morning to support this with stones having been forced onto the pavement further down the hill overnight.
- The bank will be retained by wooden frames filled with small stone/hardcore (similar to the retaining wall outside Middlemoor Police HQ.)
- The bank will be professionally landscaped.
- Logs removed from the falling have been donated/recycled to Stoke Hill Infant School for their nature reserve.
- Following advice from the Tree Surgeon the largest of the oaks was saved from falling entirely. It was noted that you could place your arm well into the body of the trunk.
- No tree with a Tree Protection Order has been removed.
- Residents of the estate will now enjoy an improved quality of life in so much as the homes which backed onto the trees no longer need their lights on 24/7 and can see natural light to the rear of their properties.
- The cost of the remedial work is in the region of £90k and will be covered by the Estate and not the public purse.
- Disappointingly the workforce undertaking the removal had endured abuse from uninformed passers-by!
- All of the above was undertaken in full liaison with DCC Highways.
Whilst I was unaware of the activity before it took place I am confident that following advice and in liaison with Devon County Council it was the right thing to do''.