Trees tribulation

You report (Herald, June 27) Karen Headon of H & H Prestige Homes as saying: ‘Councillor Claire Wright decided to persecute us over the felling of two oaks’.

The magnificent and distinctive oak trees were likely to have graced the heart of West Hill for very many years to come. The East Devon District Council tree officer said that there was considerable life left in the two oak trees in West Hill Road. But they were an obstacle to Mr and Mrs Headen’s development plans – so Mr and Mrs Headen had the two oak trees removed in advance of submitting a planning application.

There was outrage at such an act of vandalism. Quite rightly, Claire Wright – as was Ottery St Mary Town Council – was very critical of the action.

Regrettably, some greedy developers do take advantage of the lack of protection afforded to trees. Some unscrupulous developers calculate that a small fine would be a very small price to pay, compared to the profit made from the development once the trees had been got rid of.

Claire tabled a Notice of Motion at the East Devon District Council meeting on October 23 last year seeking better protection for trees, and to achieve more local tree planting. It was agreed to set up a task group to consider action. Yet more than eight months later and the group has yet to hold its first meeting.

Roger Giles

East Devon District Councillor, Ottery Town (Independent)