‘Scruffy’ tree in conflict with residents

A tree is dominating the appearance of a block of flats in Honiton and making the building look ‘scruffy’. That is what town councillors were told when they considered an application to give it a cosmetic makeover.

The offending cherry tree is an imposing feature in the grounds of Rookwood House, in Rookwood Close.

Housing association Livewest is seeking permission, via an agent, to trim the main canopy by up to four metres. It says the work is necessary to reduce “conflict” with residents.

It adds that, in its existing form, the tree is “dominating the front of the building” giving it a “scruffy appearance”.

In addition to currently being a blot on the landscape, the tree is said to be causing excessive shading – leaving local residents struggling to get natural light into their homes.

Honiton Town Council’s planning committee considered the application and made its observations at a meeting on Tuesday, June 25. Members unanimously agreed to defer the decision to the arboricultural officer.

As well as giving the crown of the tree a more uniform canopy, work is proposed to reduce branches currently overhanging a garden.

In the application for the work, it is stated pruning it is necessary to give pedestrians and vehicles sufficient access to an area currently under low-hanging branches.

Previous pruning works have been carried out on the tree and the application seeks to repeat the exercise.

Rob Scholefield has submitted the application on behalf of the housing association.

Town councillors’ observations will be passed to the district council.

The crown will be raised by four metres over the drive and by two-and-a-half metres over a pathway, if East Devon District Council approves the works.


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