Bid to fell historic Sidmouth tree refused


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Plans to fell an historic beech tree that the owners said threatened a Sidmouth home have been refused due to the impact on biodiversity.

Sidmouth Town Council’s planning committee came to a split decision on the application for 18 Livonia Road, instead allowing a crown reduction of 20 per cent of the folia area to cut the risk of ‘perceived damage’.

Refusing the felling of the tree, members said doing so would remove all of its amenity value and the present wildlife habitat.

The application said numerous sheds are in close proximity to the tree and a dwelling is within falling distance. Similar concerns were raised by the owners of a neighbouring property, who supported the felling.

A risk assessment submitted with the application said there was a one in 30,000 chance of the tree causing up to £20,000-worth of damage in the next 12 months, but the planning committee said the felling had not been sufficiently justified or evidenced.

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Their report said the 22-metre-high tree is part the historic planting of Lymebourne House and is identified on the Ordinance Survey map dated 1888.

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