Sainsbury’s plan tree loss ‘Unacceptable’ says expert

sainsburys tree

Sainsbury’s new store means the loss of 50 trees

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

  9 comments for “Sainsbury’s plan tree loss ‘Unacceptable’ says expert

  1. John Edwards
    September 18, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I wonder how many planning errors have gone un-noticed over the years?

    Where ever you go, its common practice for developers to ‘splash the cash’ in order to get thier own way. Sainsburys is now seen as being no different.

    The proposed £5000 for each tree removed far outwieghs the cost of buying and installing a replacement tree, which begs the question over the total amount proposed!

    And do the people of Eastliegh want the Rec to be eaten away for commercial development instead of being maintained as green open space for recreation?

    Once its gone its gone forever.

    If Sainsburys want the facilty of a home delivery depot on site, why not follow the example of Tescos in Havant where there built upwards with all parking underneath the store?

    This way, we get to save the Rec from erosion and Sainsburys get exactly what they want.

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    September 18, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Its not just trees at the Rec under threat by development but also Stoneham Park and Boorley Green.

  3. maureen
    September 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I guess this means we can all cut down our garden trees as long as we pay the bounty.

  4. Peter Stewart UKIP
    September 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Fellow time travellers gather round! I ask you to travel back with me, to a piece of land we now know as “Eastleigh Rec”.

    The year is 1896. It’s October and it’s Sunday, but I can’t tell you which one. Somewhere a church strikes twelve. The last of the morning mist is just burning off. We have landed at the junction of Leigh Road and Romsey Road.

    The Rec looks very different. There is no manicured turf and no flower beds. There are no Council Offices (they won’t be built for another two years). There’s no purpose built Library, no buildings of any kind in fact. There’s no bandstand, no trees, and above all, no Sainsburys. It’s just a bit of raggedy field, consisting of coarse turf and weeds.

    Look down Leigh Road and you will see a small crowd of people gathered together on the pavement. You wander over and notice a tall, bearded man taking notes. He explains he is a reporter for the Eastleigh Weekly News and that he is here to cover a very important occasion.

    At that moment the crowd goes quiet and a man in a black frock coat and top hat begins to speak. It turns out his name is Wyndham Portal and he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the London & South Western Railway. In his hand, he holds a grand looking piece of paper which he raises to the crowd. Our bearded reporter writes quickly as Mr Portal hands the paper to the Chairman of the Council, Mr Henry Willmer, with these immortal words:

    “This Deed conveys this piece of ground now and for ever to the charge of the Council in authority on behalf of the people – to Eastleigh and to his seed for ever”

    The crowd applauds and the field is now officially the property of the people of Eastleigh, to be held in trust by the Council of the day. For ever. The story appears in the Eastleigh Weekly News the following Thursday.

    Thirty nine years later in the first history of Eastleigh, Arthur Drewitt records the event in his book, “Eastleigh’s Yesterdays”.

    Alas the original deed is no longer to be found. If there are any copies of it, let the readers find it. But deed or no deed, if ever there were any doubt about who owns the Rec, we have at least two reliable accounts to prove it belongs to the people. The Council in authority holds it on behalf of the people.

    The only question is, what do the people want? There is only one way to find out and that is by a genuine survey of ALL the people of Eastleigh.

    One could argue about what constitutes “Eastleigh”, since in 1896 there was not much of it as it was still in its infancy. But our forefathers planned for the growth of Eastleigh, just as one plans for the growth of a child into an adult. The Eastleigh we know today, is the town come of age. Let us consult ALL its people to see what they want!

  5. September 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    The late Bill Luffman the protector of the recreation ground had all the documents.He told me
    the trees and land was protected by Eastleigh Borough Council.We should set up for a referendum
    under the localism act-and let the people decide.
    I will never shop is Sainsbury’s again.
    Sam Snook

    • Peter Stewart
      September 20, 2012 at 9:17 am

      Fellow time travellers, gather round again. This time let us travel forward in time 70 years to the same spot we landed at in 1896.

      This time the year is 2082. The month is October. It’s a Sunday. The sky is still blue and the clouds are still grey. The sun shines like it always did.

      Again there is a small crowd of dignitaries gathered in the same spot as before. This time, you notice a reporter for “South News”, the largest online newspaper in the South. He explains how his great great granfather started the paper back in 2009 as “Eastleigh News” and gradually went on to dominate the news market in the South.

      On this occasion, he is here to report on the opening of the new Sainsburys Mini Town. There is no Rec at all. The old Civic Offices and Library have all gone. The entire ground of what was the Rec is now covered by one vast building with the word SAINSBURYS.

      The old town is long since gone, and covered over by blocks of flats and social housing. The reporter explains how they found the original deed in the old Civic Offices, behind a skirting board when they were demolishing it to make way for the new mini town. Trouble was, it was all too late.

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        September 20, 2012 at 9:23 am

        An interesting post, part lovely dream, part nightmare. Alas, I have a feeling I know which part is more likely to come true!

  6. September 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Case Study On Service Delegation to Local(Parish
    and Town)councils.

    Its a lot to print-but very interesting.
    Sam Snook

  7. September 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Going to OUR Recreation Saturday

Comments are closed.