Outcry at new tree felling plan

THE owner of a mobile home park next to the River Frome has applied to fell more trees – months after dozens were chopped down without permission. 

Wyldecrest Parks Management Limited has asked for permission to fell 26 trees at the Riverside Drive park homes estate, which sits in a wooded area between Frenchay, Downend and Oldbury Court.

More than 75 people objected to the application within the first week of its publication, with opponents describing the plans as “unnecessary destruction” and “vandalism”.

The trees Wyldecrest has applied to remove include a hedgerow of 15 cypress close to the Frome Valley Walkway, and three sycamores and eight cypress trees next to Frenchay Road, in an area where up to 39 trees were felled last year.

In a report accompanying its application to Bristol City Council, a tree consultant employed by Wyldecrest says the sycamores are in “poor structural condition”, citing “wounds and scars” on the trunks and “imbalanced forms” after some of the trunks were removed.

But opponents of the plans say this damage was caused during the work carried out in May, and the trees could recover if left alone.

Wyldecrest insisted at the time that its previous work was legal and necessary for safety reasons, even though the city council ordered it to stop and started an investigation. 

Wyldecrest’s tree expert said this had resulted in “a written warning but not a penalty” after officers decided an offence was committed but no formal action would be taken.

The entire site was made subject to a tree preservation order by the council after complaints from residents, neighbours in Glenside Close whose gardens backed on to the woods, and Frome Vale ward councillor Lesley Alexander.

In a statement to planners, the company said it wanted permission to remove the trees “partly in response to the condition of the trees as explained in the report, and partly because of the recognised risks of damage to those occupying the caravans and using the nearby highway”.

The application has brought a deluge of objections.

One opponent said: “It’s an absolute disgrace what trees have already been felled and the whole site is now an eyesore. To remove any more trees would be an absolute tragedy.” 

Others spoke of the “needless destruction of trees and wildlife habitats” the felling would cause and said the removal of the trees and their roots could affect the structural integrity of homes in Glenside Close, which stand above the edge of the former quarry.

Another objector said: “As far as I’m concerned this is vandalism and is also contrary to the aims of reversing climate change and protecting natural sites, for a variety of positive reasons.” 

The application can be viewed on the planning section of the Bristol City Council website by searching for the reference number 22/05707/VP.

Some of the trees Wyldecrest wants to fell, pictured in the background.