Proposals to fell protected trees draw concerns
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A bid to fell and cut back mature trees including a Holme Oak said to be around 200 years old is drawing concerns.
The application submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council affects six trees, at least some of which are protected, on land once part of the formal gardens of the Grade II listed mansion Koolunga House.
It comes a year after a bid to build on the site was dismissed on appeal by a Government planning inspector citing the need to conserve rare tree species and protect Koolunga as a “heritage asset”.
The application involved felling at least 23 trees and knocking down part of Koolunga's wall for access.
The land, which is totally enclosed, is understood to have been sold on.
Neighbour Michael Boon, a champion of the site and its history, described the new bid as "pretty savage".
He is calling for an independent assessment of the wooded area by a body like Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
He said the trees were "an integral part of the nature of the site," adding: "There are very few sites left in Gorleston and the policy now is to plant new trees, and this would knock down mature trees."
He said the application had "popped up out of the blue" and that is was "sensible" to take into account the history of the site and to make as many people aware as possible.
Robert Smith, owner of Koolunga House, built in 1826 as a luxury holiday home and now divided into seven flats, said he believed one of the trees was among those targeted by a mystery poisoner, and that another - the Holme Oak - was thought to be at least 200 years old.
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He said ideally the gardens should be returned to their former glory with public open days.
In his view felling trees that posed no danger to the public could not be justified.
The application states the oak has extensive dieback, others are dead, and another is a "poor specimen."
To have your say by September 22 visit the borough council's planning portal.
One person has objected so far saying: "Is this land going to be built on?"