Over 100 people have written protests to Taunton Deane planners about Bloor Homes’ intention to cut down an orchard at the Longforth Farm estate. In the original planning permission for the estate the developers promised to retain the orchard. They then gained consent to move it by transplanting the trees. Bloor now claim that the trees are too fragile to be moved and have to be felled.
Here is a small sample of the many letters and emails:
“I do not support this application. The decision to destroy a mature orchard that Bloor initially undertook to protect goes against the spirit of the initial application. Bloor are attempting to get their own way by stealth, which is a very deceitful way to do business,” wrote David Jones.
“ Given the recent IPCC climate change report, planners should seek to preserve any set of existing tracts of woodland or orchard for the sake of our physical and mental well being and indeed the planet. Please ensure the developers are not allowed to ride roughshod over the original agreement -this would also give a clear message to future developers that they cannot say something and do another,” said Dixie Darch.
“The planning application system is there to protect the valued assets of a community. Allowing this lovely, old, viable orchard to be destroyed will not enhance the local environment and will mean the loss of wildlife habitat and a relaxing space for the residents,” said Jane Browne.
“I strongly object to the potential loss of our wonderful mature orchard on the Longforth Farm Estate, which is at risk of being built upon by Bloor Homes. I object to the trees being removed and appreciate their presence as a traditional orchard which is beautiful and a significant attraction to local wildlife. I ask that you do not give permission for the removal of the trees or orchard in any shape or form please,” added Baptist minister Rvd Sam Griffiths.
A report for Bloor Homes to support its application provided by Aspect Tree Consultancy said: “The apple trees were in a poor state of health with insufficient energy reserves and too big to move with any guarantee of survival. Apple trees have a relatively short lifespan in terms of age and productivity.”