TREES at the centre of an ongoing dispute between developers and Christchurch council will not become part of extended private gardens.

Proposals from Hoburne Development to change the use of the area of trees adjacent to the A35 Lyndhurst Road were refused by council officers.

An appeal on the felling of the trees has not yet reached an outcome.

The plans for sectioning the established treeline into residential gardens was met with 48 objections from residents, as well as opposition from the council’s own tree and landscape team.

Their response to the scheme said the application was “premature” given the tree felling appeal and objected on the grounds of the potential lack of future tree management and loss of trees.

Treecall Consulting Ltd produced a report on behalf of Hoburne Development, which said the former farm land behind the trees is gradually being developed for housing.

It added: “The site currently lies outside of the residential development area, but a change of use application is to be submitted to incorporate the land within the gardens of the adjacent new dwellings.

“Consideration therefore needs to be given to how the trees can be best managed in the long term.”

However, council planning officer Kim Bowditch refused the scheme under delegated powers.

Her report says: “The council considers that the line of trees makes a valuable contribution to the landscape and are a significant landscape asset the integrity of which should be managed and maintained as a whole in the best interests of their long-term retention so that they continue to provide such contribution.

“Dividing the ownership of the line of trees into a large number of individual properties will likely substantially increase likely pressure to fell and prune the protected trees and introduce considerable uncertainty to the quality of their maintenance.”

The report also says the “unnecessary loss” of the trees would have a “significant detrimental impact” on the landscape character of the area and could lead to a “haphazard” series of new domestic boundaries.