Bradford care home tree felling plan set to be blocked

by | Jul 6, 2014 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Tree felling planners look set to block a care home’s plan to chop down four protected trees running along a street.

Britannia Care Home, in Thorn Street, Bradford, wants to fell four 70-year-old lime trees as part of an extension project.

But planners are less than impressed with the idea of losing the healthy trees, saying the lack of greenery in the Girlington area means these specimens are particularly valuable.

The trees line a grassed embankment running along the care home’s Girlington Road side and are currently protected by the Council’s tree preservation orders.

No-one from Britannia Care Home was available to speak to the Telegraph & Argus, but its letter to planners gives three reasons why it wants to chop the trees down.

The first is that a kitchen extension already approved by planners could damage the roots, making the trees dangerous.

The second is that the tree canopies obstruct the building, “which deprives vulnerable people of daylight amenity”.

And the third is that the branches would damage the new building.

The letter also says that the care home already has permission to fell two of the trees, as part of the approved extension plan.

But a report by planning officers disputes this, saying: “The approved plans show the retention of all four trees.”

It says the 14m-tall lime trees could well live for another 50 years, and that they soften views of the four-storey care home.

And it says the trees could be protected during the building work, while pruning would help let more light into the care home and would prevent damage to the building.

Ward councillor Amir Hussain (Lab, Toller) said he had spoken to the developers, who had suggested that they could plant replacement trees elsewhere in the ward.

He said this would be a “win-win situation for everybody”.

He said: “If anything, we would end up with more trees in the Toller ward, and the developer would get to develop much-needed facilities.”

And Councillor Imran Hussain (Lab, Toller) said while he wanted trees to be protected where possible, the home’s elderly residents should come first.

He said: “Although it’s a difficult one, I will be supporting the applicants. It is a matter for the panel.”

Officers have recommended the plan for refusal at a Bradford Area Planning Panel meeting, on Tuesday.