Date finally set for meeting over controversial tree felling at Druitt Gardens

Workers on the Renaissance Retirement Ltd site where trees were being cut down

Workers on the Renaissance Retirement Ltd site where trees were being cut down

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A POSTPONED meeting on the controversial Christchurch tree felling in Druitt Gardens has been rescheduled for August.

Months after the meeting of the audit and scrutiny meeting was postponed by Christchurch council, officers have finally decided on another date. The original committee meeting was deferred after campaigners launched a legal challenge against the authority.

The meeting will take place at the Civic Offices on August 5.

A judicial review was sought by local businessman and campaigner Alistair Somerville-Ford after four trees were cut down in Druitt Gardens in February, just weeks after councillors voted to put preservation orders on them.

The developers, Renaissance Retirement, say the trees were damaged on two separate occasions during an archaeological dig.

They were granted permission last year to build a retirement complex on the adjacent Cornfactor site.

Following the controversy, a full, internal, inquiry was ordered by Christchurch council, who were criticised by residents, campaigners and Dorset County Council’s own tree officer.

Despite the report being released in the run-up to the meeting, councillors have not had a chance to debate its findings, which calls for urgent improvements.

The application for the judicial review was thrown out of the High Court in May.

The audit and scrutiny report details a catalogue of errors made by Christchurch council during contentious tree felling episodes.

Mistakes over previous planning permissions, flaws in last year’s consent, gaps in training and time pressures all contributed to the fiasco and have led to calls for urgent improvements.

Campaigner Elliot Marx, who is also part of the group Trees for Dorset, said the report brought up a ‘number of disturbing acknowledgments by the council’.

He said: “The scheduling of August is likely to be difficult for people to attend. I think it will throw up more questions than it answers.”

Comments (9)

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5:25pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Rasta dude says...

My word nothing better to do alistair Somerville-ford life is moving forward get used to it your generation ( snobs ) that have ruined christchurch
My word nothing better to do alistair Somerville-ford life is moving forward get used to it your generation ( snobs ) that have ruined christchurch Rasta dude
  • Score: -14

6:56pm Sat 19 Jul 14

billy bumble says...

Rasta dude wrote:
My word nothing better to do alistair Somerville-ford life is moving forward get used to it your generation ( snobs ) that have ruined christchurch
But we do still provide the money for benefits for people like you
[quote][p][bold]Rasta dude[/bold] wrote: My word nothing better to do alistair Somerville-ford life is moving forward get used to it your generation ( snobs ) that have ruined christchurch[/p][/quote]But we do still provide the money for benefits for people like you billy bumble
  • Score: 15

5:40pm Sun 20 Jul 14

Rasta dude says...

billy bumble wrote:
Rasta dude wrote:
My word nothing better to do alistair Somerville-ford life is moving forward get used to it your generation ( snobs ) that have ruined christchurch
But we do still provide the money for benefits for people like you
No I own my own home have done for while worked since I was 15 years of age now 38 so you can shove that statement up you rear end billy bumble
[quote][p][bold]billy bumble[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rasta dude[/bold] wrote: My word nothing better to do alistair Somerville-ford life is moving forward get used to it your generation ( snobs ) that have ruined christchurch[/p][/quote]But we do still provide the money for benefits for people like you[/p][/quote]No I own my own home have done for while worked since I was 15 years of age now 38 so you can shove that statement up you rear end billy bumble Rasta dude
  • Score: -1

9:19pm Sun 20 Jul 14

Justin Black says...

The meeting over the tree felling will be a complete waste of time. The Leader will by now have pressure bullied his group and will have allegedly formulated a story which will get them off the hook. Just you watch people, they will come up with a story that will allegedly get the Leader and his group off the hook and they will most probably point the blame at a Council Officer.

The people of Christchurch will have the opportunity to show just how much faith they have in the Leader of the Council when we all go to the polls next May.
The meeting over the tree felling will be a complete waste of time. The Leader will by now have pressure bullied his group and will have allegedly formulated a story which will get them off the hook. Just you watch people, they will come up with a story that will allegedly get the Leader and his group off the hook and they will most probably point the blame at a Council Officer. The people of Christchurch will have the opportunity to show just how much faith they have in the Leader of the Council when we all go to the polls next May. Justin Black
  • Score: 5

1:22pm Mon 21 Jul 14

agp1337 says...

Justin Black wrote:
The meeting over the tree felling will be a complete waste of time. The Leader will by now have pressure bullied his group and will have allegedly formulated a story which will get them off the hook. Just you watch people, they will come up with a story that will allegedly get the Leader and his group off the hook and they will most probably point the blame at a Council Officer.

The people of Christchurch will have the opportunity to show just how much faith they have in the Leader of the Council when we all go to the polls next May.
Interesting comment. I presume that Mr Nottage will be available then, and that he has checked that other Councillors than his acolytes will be. (I understand that Councillors haven't officially been notified yet!) And for those who say why bother? We bother because this is a principle and if it's just swept under the carpet it will happen again. It may not seem significant, but it is actually a serious issue.
[quote][p][bold]Justin Black[/bold] wrote: The meeting over the tree felling will be a complete waste of time. The Leader will by now have pressure bullied his group and will have allegedly formulated a story which will get them off the hook. Just you watch people, they will come up with a story that will allegedly get the Leader and his group off the hook and they will most probably point the blame at a Council Officer. The people of Christchurch will have the opportunity to show just how much faith they have in the Leader of the Council when we all go to the polls next May.[/p][/quote]Interesting comment. I presume that Mr Nottage will be available then, and that he has checked that other Councillors than his acolytes will be. (I understand that Councillors haven't officially been notified yet!) And for those who say why bother? We bother because this is a principle and if it's just swept under the carpet it will happen again. It may not seem significant, but it is actually a serious issue. agp1337
  • Score: 8

2:32pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Rasta dude says...

World peace poverty child molesters that's significant cutting down some trees to house people I think not
World peace poverty child molesters that's significant cutting down some trees to house people I think not Rasta dude
  • Score: -5

3:32pm Mon 21 Jul 14

agp1337 says...

Rasta dude wrote:
World peace poverty child molesters that's significant cutting down some trees to house people I think not
I agree with you. The poverty and vile crimes you mention don't remotely compare, and I hope we all try to do something to help, even if just by making a donation. But does that mean that we just ignore local issues and thus let them do what they will? The trees were protected. We are in danger of letting the impropriety of many Councillors win as people are giving up.
[quote][p][bold]Rasta dude[/bold] wrote: World peace poverty child molesters that's significant cutting down some trees to house people I think not[/p][/quote]I agree with you. The poverty and vile crimes you mention don't remotely compare, and I hope we all try to do something to help, even if just by making a donation. But does that mean that we just ignore local issues and thus let them do what they will? The trees were protected. We are in danger of letting the impropriety of many Councillors win as people are giving up. agp1337
  • Score: 5

6:51pm Mon 21 Jul 14

agp1337 says...

Rasta dude wrote:
billy bumble wrote:
Rasta dude wrote:
My word nothing better to do alistair Somerville-ford life is moving forward get used to it your generation ( snobs ) that have ruined christchurch
But we do still provide the money for benefits for people like you
No I own my own home have done for while worked since I was 15 years of age now 38 so you can shove that statement up you rear end billy bumble
Very bright comment, in superb English!!! I take it you've worked since you were 15, rather than owned your own home. As I said, very bright comment, including in your last sentence what would actually be a physical impossibility!
[quote][p][bold]Rasta dude[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]billy bumble[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rasta dude[/bold] wrote: My word nothing better to do alistair Somerville-ford life is moving forward get used to it your generation ( snobs ) that have ruined christchurch[/p][/quote]But we do still provide the money for benefits for people like you[/p][/quote]No I own my own home have done for while worked since I was 15 years of age now 38 so you can shove that statement up you rear end billy bumble[/p][/quote]Very bright comment, in superb English!!! I take it you've worked since you were 15, rather than owned your own home. As I said, very bright comment, including in your last sentence what would actually be a physical impossibility! agp1337
  • Score: 2

10:15am Fri 25 Jul 14

xchresident says...

Apparently no fine for the Developer, but the CBC has just agreed a plan by them to 'prettify' the site where the Druitt Trees were felled-- that should go far towards getting the Council and Developer off the hook at the internal investigation!

And Christchurch now has its own IMAX looming over what was supposed to be a woodland nature reserve and bird sanctuary. Pretty daffodils will form the back garden of the new development's residents. And we see suspicious new cut marks where branches on protected trees are gone. Maybe these would have obscured the prospective residents' views into Druitt Gardens!
Apparently no fine for the Developer, but the CBC has just agreed a plan by them to 'prettify' the site where the Druitt Trees were felled-- that should go far towards getting the Council and Developer off the hook at the internal investigation! And Christchurch now has its own IMAX looming over what was supposed to be a woodland nature reserve and bird sanctuary. Pretty daffodils will form the back garden of the new development's residents. And we see suspicious new cut marks where branches on protected trees are gone. Maybe these would have obscured the prospective residents' views into Druitt Gardens! xchresident
  • Score: 2

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