Tree replaced at brand new Sidford complex

  Posted: 09.10.20 at 16:09 by Daniel Clark - Local Democracy Reporter

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Plans to replace a storm-damaged horse chestnut tree as part of a new retirement complex in Sidford have been agreed.

East Devon councillors on Wednesday unanimously supported Churchill Retirement Living to vary a condition relating to a tree on the Lockyer Lodge development.

The tree had to be felled for safety reasons, and they had asked for permission to replace it with a new sweetgum tree that would be more appropriate for the soil conditions.

Recommending the scheme be given the go ahead, Development Manager Chris Rose said: "The previous chestnut tree on the site that was considered to be in decline, was subsequently storm damaged, and its replacement with an extra heavy standard tree is supported by the tree officer.”

Phil Brophy, speaking on behalf of Churchill Retirement Living, added that it wouldn’t be appropriate to plant a chestnut tree due to the pathogens in the soil, and that the remaining trees in good health.

Councillors agreed to the variation of the previously consented scheme for the Green Close site, with an additional condition that the developers will be responsible for looking after the tree for five years after it is planted, and if it dies within that period, a new tree must be planted to replace it.

None of the other conditions relating to the construction on the 40-apartment development that is due to be finished in early 2021 required amending, the committee heard.

The sheltered apartment plans would see the care home demolished and replaced with 40 apartments, with a guest suite, owners’ lounge, lift, office also be included, as would be 24 car parking spaces.

A financial contribution of £677,434 to the council towards the provision of affordable housing within the district is a condition of the application, which Churchill have agreed is acceptable.

The Green Close care home was built in 1971 but closed in 2014 after Devon County Council cutbacks.

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