Dismay over application to cut down ‘beautiful’ oak tree in Haywards Heath

Residents of Bridgers Mill, Haywards Heath, have expressed dismay at plans to cut down a ‘beautiful’ large oak tree that is subject to a Tree Preservation Order.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 10:40 am
Updated Thursday, 15th April 2021, 11:02 am

Mid Sussex District Council received an application to fell the tree, grind out the stump and plant two new trees in its place.

The applicant says the tree is infected with a pathogenic fungus and he is concerned about falling branches or the entire tree falling.

Residents in the area wrote to the council to object to the removal of the tree, which they said was ‘a natural habitat for a range of wildlife, including bats, woodpeckers, owls, squirrels and birds’.

Bridgers Mill, Haywards Heath, residents have objected to plans to cut down a large oak tree

They also said that the tree was, in their view, healthy, and that it shielded Bridgers Mill from noise from the Nuffield Health Haywards Heath Hospital.

One resident said the tree was ‘an important part of the feel of the neighbourhood’.

“Any replacement trees would take decades to grow,” she added.

A council spokesman said: “The oak at Bridgers Mill in Haywards Heath is protected by a Tree Preservation Order and requires written consent from the council before any work can be carried out.

“The landowner has applied to fell the tree on the grounds that it has become diseased and poses a danger to public safety.

“Evidence must be provided by the landowner and it will be carefully assessed, as will the representations submitted by the public objecting to the application and calling for the tree to remain.

“A balanced decision, based primarily on the level of risk posed to the public, will be made in due course.”

To find out more search for DM/21/0726 at www.midsussex.gov.uk.