‘Eyesore’ at Priory Estate marks the slow decline of the area

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Last week we have seen the sight of a mature oak crashed through the roofs of a pair of semi detached houses in Syresham Gardens, bringing back memories of October 1987, known as The Great Storm.

How can this have happened when last summer all the trees along the banks of the stream had been assessed by Mid Sussex District Council who are responsible for the care and maintenance of this area, and as a consequence three were removed as diseased.

The tree in question was halfway up the bank, so was leaning, and probably had been for at least 100 years.

Thankfully no one was injured or killed. However now it appears that several more will have to come down ... including a mature oak with a Tree Preservation Order on it. This one stands tall, or it did before the main branches were removed and the tree mutilated. I have no doubt it is going to end up as logs before much longer.

So this small part of the Priory Estate is now a complete eyesore ... the stream is full of tree branches and litter, and we mustn’t forget that on each end of the pathway planning permission has been agreed for one house at one end, and a pair of houses on the other.

After living on this estate for over 30 years there is no doubt it is in decline. It’s heartbreaking.

Christine Alexander

Priory Way, Haywards Heath

In response, Mid Sussex District Council’s cabinet member for service delivery Gary Marsh said: “The council will always seek to protect trees wherever possible. This is why the trees in Syresham Gardens were retained when the houses were developed. Our Aboricultural Officers consider tree maturity, length of lifespan, overall health, structural integrity and strength, before we do any work on trees. Of course it is always sad to see old trees become diseased and sadly, for these trees, we’ve had to remove them. Once all the works have been completed the area will be tidied up.