Sainsbury’s controversial plan to build a megastore and home delivery depot over part of Eastleigh’s popular recreation ground has drawn criticism from an Eastleigh council officer who believes it will result in the “loss of a large proportion of urban tree stock”.
The officer from the council tree services department has objected to the plan after discovering errors in the planning application relating to nature and quality of the 47 trees that Sainsbury’s insist must be removed to make way for lorry parking at the new store
Up to 51 trees, assorted shrubs and over 5,000 square feet of parkland are scheduled to be removed – the planning application warns a further seven trees may also have to be removed if roots are damaged during the building process.
Despite the proposed elimination of around 50 oxygen producing trees from an air quality management area, Sainsbury’s planners told local residents at a recent meeting they would only be replaced with 13 new trees because the new ‘improved’ rec would be too small to accommodate like for like replacements.
The council officer claims that the arboricultural report submitted by the supermarket’s planning team has wrongly identified several trees.
Tress which have been described as ‘ornamental apples’ are in fact lime trees and some Norway maples were recorded as sycamores.
The officer also says the applicants have underestimated the number of Category ‘A’ (high quality) and B (medium quality) trees scheduled for destruction concluding:
“I find the loss of 15 Category A or B trees is unacceptable”
The officer suggests in his comments – that can be viewed on the council’s planning application website – that Sainsbury’s should pay a bounty for each tree removed.
“Five thousand pound for each tree removed would provide adequate funds to both plant and prove maintenance to establish new trees and significantly enhance the locality and go some way to mitigate the potential loss of a large proportion of urban tree stock.”
You can view and comment on the Sainsbury’s planning application here
See also Rescue the Rec