THE felling of several trees at a Christchurch beauty spot has sparked anger from a senior county council official.
Steve Maros, Dorset’s arboricultural manager has sent a stinging letter to his counterpart at Christchurch over the controversy at Druitt Gardens.
Officers at Christchurch agreed to the felling two weeks ago after the trees were allegedly damaged by developers.
Only weeks earlier councillors had voted to put protection orders on them.
Now an inquiry has been launched into the fiasco which provoked fury among Druitt Gardens campaigners.
Mr Maros has waded in to the row in an email to Nick Hayden, Christchurch’s tree officer.
“I have received several calls from concerned and irate people, including County Councillors, about the damage being caused to trees at the development in Druitt Gardens,” he said.
After visiting the site he says he is “very concerned that you have allowed machine excavation,” which has contravened guidelines. He also said they should have been consulted much earlier when works were being authorised.
He added: “I was not given access to the Arboricultural Impact Assessment, in fact I only found out that the works would impact upon DCC trees when a member of the public phoned me in late November to express concern.
“As DCC trees were to be affected I should have been consulted prior to any decision being made. I did tell Carolyn that I had no objection to a couple of low overhanging branches being removed but I presumed that any excavation.....would be by hand not JCB.
“I would be grateful if you give me your assurance that there will be no further excavation within the RPA.
“It seems to me quite perverse that Christchurch Council placed TPOs on DCC trees which restricts us operationally but then are happy to allow a private developer to damage the trees without any action being taken, legal or otherwise.”
Peter Hall, county councillor, said the tree felling ‘should have never happened’.
He added: “I am very pleased with what Steve Maros has said and I support him to the hilt. I hope his comments will be used in evidence when the scrutiny committee comes to investigate what has gone on here.
“Everything he said was factually correct and spot on.”