Concern at bid to build houses on ancient site in Upton

LEAVE IT ALONE: Sylvia Partridge at parkland at Tunnel Hill, near Upton-on-Severn, where developer Cala Homes is applying to build 22 new houses.

LEAVE IT ALONE: Sylvia Partridge at parkland at Tunnel Hill, near Upton-on-Severn, where developer Cala Homes is applying to build 22 new houses.

First published in News by

CONCERNS have been raised about an “opportunistic” bid to build homes on an area of historic parkland on the outskirts of Upton-upon-Severn.

Cala Homes wants to build 22 new houses on green land at Tunnel Hill, adjacent to Karuna House.

But news of the bid has alarmed nearby resident Sylvia Partridge, who is concerned that – if successful – an important part of Upton’s heritage will be lost.

Mrs Partridge feels developing the field would be “totally inappropriate” and said the 24-acre site contains an ancient ridge and furrow field, dewpond and 12 oak trees that are more than 600 years old and mark the original field boundary. These oaks are all the subject of temporary tree preservation orders.

Mrs Partridge, who attended a meeting of Upton Town Council’s planning committee to voice her concerns, said: “The site is exquisite and unaltered from how it was 600 years ago. It is hugely important and part of our heritage and deserves protection for future generations.”

She also feels that a public consultation on Thursday, November 29, was not widely publicised.

Cala is now finalising details over the layout, design and mix of housing before submitting a full planning application.

It says the proposed scheme “respects the rural setting” with low density, open space and the retention of many existing features.

A Cala spokesman said: “We are aware that ridge and furrow forms part of the site. As such, our archaeologists have spoken to their counterparts at Worcestershire County Council and will be assessing the significance of the ridge and furrow.

“The proposed development will retain the oak trees. We’ll also be undertaking work to ensure that the root protection areas are respected and maintained.

“Our application is going to be made under the Rural Exception Policy and this does not depend on the local planning process."

Comments (5)

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9:30am Sat 15 Dec 12

Allan Whitehead says...

While I am not familiar with the particular site being discussed. I am of the opinion that if a Local residents (M/s. Sylvia Partridge) is saying this area of parkland should not be developed for the reasons out lined. One concern for the Upton-on Severn Planning Authority should be. Taking into consideration, which the environment agency has just built a flood defence to protect this beautiful river town from the damages of too much water swelling above its banks. Will anyone give consideration to how much surface water has been soaked up by the historic 24 Acres, and how much water these Oak Trees will have needed during their 600 years of growing. If some unconcerned profit making house building company, are given “Outline and then Detailed Planning Permission” I trust and hope that those granting any development will take into consideration how much surface water is soaked up by this parkland and its trees. Furthermore, how much surface water will be prevented from being soaked up by this Greenfield site if house are built on it.
I can assure any reader, this water will find a way, and it will not just be a few pints.
While I am not familiar with the particular site being discussed. I am of the opinion that if a Local residents (M/s. Sylvia Partridge) is saying this area of parkland should not be developed for the reasons out lined. One concern for the Upton-on Severn Planning Authority should be. Taking into consideration, which the environment agency has just built a flood defence to protect this beautiful river town from the damages of too much water swelling above its banks. Will anyone give consideration to how much surface water has been soaked up by the historic 24 Acres, and how much water these Oak Trees will have needed during their 600 years of growing. If some unconcerned profit making house building company, are given “Outline and then Detailed Planning Permission” I trust and hope that those granting any development will take into consideration how much surface water is soaked up by this parkland and its trees. Furthermore, how much surface water will be prevented from being soaked up by this Greenfield site if house are built on it. I can assure any reader, this water will find a way, and it will not just be a few pints. Allan Whitehead
  • Score: 0

6:58pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Geep says...

Allan - a very good point re the take up of water on the proposed site.
I am not a NIMBY, & do not live in the immediate area.
But, given the current house buying situation, WTF is the point of building houses people cannot afford to buy?
Well done to Mrs Partridge for bringing this to public attention. As for the consultation not being widely publicised, no surprises there. In most cases, 'consultations' seem to be box ticking exercises.
Allan - a very good point re the take up of water on the proposed site. I am not a NIMBY, & do not live in the immediate area. But, given the current house buying situation, WTF is the point of building houses people cannot afford to buy? Well done to Mrs Partridge for bringing this to public attention. As for the consultation not being widely publicised, no surprises there. In most cases, 'consultations' seem to be box ticking exercises. Geep
  • Score: 0

9:44pm Mon 17 Dec 12

jameswade says...

Firstly, I love trees, especially veteran trees.

Having been alerted to these veteran trees via the article in the local paper I decided to visit the site and photograph these trees for myself and perhaps incorporate them into a seperate dissertation project I am undertaking.

These are truly remarkable trees, some of which are lapsed pollards, others of which are standing 'monolith' which are prominant within the local landscape. It'd be nice to actually measure them and conduct a more detailed survey on each of them - the Woodland Trust lists them as being 6m or 7m in girth, which seems like a nice round figure - perhaps these may be estimates, were they allowed access to the site to girth them and measure bole height?

The Worcestershire Biological Records Centre does not have these trees recorded on their map, and infact there seems to be a large void when it comes to ancient tree records in and around Upton/Tunnel Hill.

The fact there is remnant field boundaries, evidence of ridge and furrow, and a dewpond only makes the site more historically important - thats even before an ecological survey has been conducted on the site.

It is well known that ancient oak trees have enormous biodiversity value and by thier very nature provide habitats which support hundreds of interdependant species, from saproxylic inverterbrates, wood decay fungi, moss/lichen species and also birds and bats.

It's reassuring to hear these trees are the subject of a temporary tree preservation order, and that they have been brought to the attention of the council.

Anyhow, the development will involve a BS5837 'Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction' (which recently got updated, and gives recommendations).

This report would be compiled by an arborist which will involve an arb implication assessment and method statement etc. In short, when it comes to development, all trees are a material consideration in a planning process.
Firstly, I love trees, especially veteran trees. Having been alerted to these veteran trees via the article in the local paper I decided to visit the site and photograph these trees for myself and perhaps incorporate them into a seperate dissertation project I am undertaking. These are truly remarkable trees, some of which are lapsed pollards, others of which are standing 'monolith' which are prominant within the local landscape. It'd be nice to actually measure them and conduct a more detailed survey on each of them - the Woodland Trust lists them as being 6m or 7m in girth, which seems like a nice round figure - perhaps these may be estimates, were they allowed access to the site to girth them and measure bole height? The Worcestershire Biological Records Centre does not have these trees recorded on their map, and infact there seems to be a large void when it comes to ancient tree records in and around Upton/Tunnel Hill. The fact there is remnant field boundaries, evidence of ridge and furrow, and a dewpond only makes the site more historically important - thats even before an ecological survey has been conducted on the site. It is well known that ancient oak trees have enormous biodiversity value and by thier very nature provide habitats which support hundreds of interdependant species, from saproxylic inverterbrates, wood decay fungi, moss/lichen species and also birds and bats. It's reassuring to hear these trees are the subject of a temporary tree preservation order, and that they have been brought to the attention of the council. Anyhow, the development will involve a BS5837 'Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction' (which recently got updated, and gives recommendations). This report would be compiled by an arborist which will involve an arb implication assessment and method statement etc. In short, when it comes to development, all trees are a material consideration in a planning process. jameswade
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Allan Whitehead says...

jameswade wrote:
Firstly, I love trees, especially veteran trees.

Having been alerted to these veteran trees via the article in the local paper I decided to visit the site and photograph these trees for myself and perhaps incorporate them into a seperate dissertation project I am undertaking.

These are truly remarkable trees, some of which are lapsed pollards, others of which are standing 'monolith' which are prominant within the local landscape. It'd be nice to actually measure them and conduct a more detailed survey on each of them - the Woodland Trust lists them as being 6m or 7m in girth, which seems like a nice round figure - perhaps these may be estimates, were they allowed access to the site to girth them and measure bole height?

The Worcestershire Biological Records Centre does not have these trees recorded on their map, and infact there seems to be a large void when it comes to ancient tree records in and around Upton/Tunnel Hill.

The fact there is remnant field boundaries, evidence of ridge and furrow, and a dewpond only makes the site more historically important - thats even before an ecological survey has been conducted on the site.

It is well known that ancient oak trees have enormous biodiversity value and by thier very nature provide habitats which support hundreds of interdependant species, from saproxylic inverterbrates, wood decay fungi, moss/lichen species and also birds and bats.

It's reassuring to hear these trees are the subject of a temporary tree preservation order, and that they have been brought to the attention of the council.

Anyhow, the development will involve a BS5837 'Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction' (which recently got updated, and gives recommendations).

This report would be compiled by an arborist which will involve an arb implication assessment and method statement etc. In short, when it comes to development, all trees are a material consideration in a planning process.
Ask the Council to place a tree preservation order on all the trees that you consider to be of outstanding. Let us see if your Council will take this course of action on behalf of the objectors.
[quote][p][bold]jameswade[/bold] wrote: Firstly, I love trees, especially veteran trees. Having been alerted to these veteran trees via the article in the local paper I decided to visit the site and photograph these trees for myself and perhaps incorporate them into a seperate dissertation project I am undertaking. These are truly remarkable trees, some of which are lapsed pollards, others of which are standing 'monolith' which are prominant within the local landscape. It'd be nice to actually measure them and conduct a more detailed survey on each of them - the Woodland Trust lists them as being 6m or 7m in girth, which seems like a nice round figure - perhaps these may be estimates, were they allowed access to the site to girth them and measure bole height? The Worcestershire Biological Records Centre does not have these trees recorded on their map, and infact there seems to be a large void when it comes to ancient tree records in and around Upton/Tunnel Hill. The fact there is remnant field boundaries, evidence of ridge and furrow, and a dewpond only makes the site more historically important - thats even before an ecological survey has been conducted on the site. It is well known that ancient oak trees have enormous biodiversity value and by thier very nature provide habitats which support hundreds of interdependant species, from saproxylic inverterbrates, wood decay fungi, moss/lichen species and also birds and bats. It's reassuring to hear these trees are the subject of a temporary tree preservation order, and that they have been brought to the attention of the council. Anyhow, the development will involve a BS5837 'Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction' (which recently got updated, and gives recommendations). This report would be compiled by an arborist which will involve an arb implication assessment and method statement etc. In short, when it comes to development, all trees are a material consideration in a planning process.[/p][/quote]Ask the Council to place a tree preservation order on all the trees that you consider to be of outstanding. Let us see if your Council will take this course of action on behalf of the objectors. Allan Whitehead
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Tue 18 Dec 12

js says...

You can see pictures of the trees at http://tinyurl.com/b
lbptbh
You can see pictures of the trees at http://tinyurl.com/b lbptbh js
  • Score: 0

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