Bid to protect nearly 100 trees on Shoebury site which could see 72 new homes

Action has been taken have been taken to protect almost 100 trees on a site where developers hope to build 72 new homes.

Taylor Wimpey wants to build the homes on the Cantel UK site in Campfield Road, Shoebury.

But residents have rallied to protect the trees which include mature cedars, maples, oaks and sycamores.

Now Southend City Council has agreed to put tree preservation orders on 50 trees including eight individual tress and three groups of trees on the site.

The order will also protect approximately 40 acer and hawthorn trees on a raised embankment to the north of the site.

The embankment is likely to be levelled along with the trees if the plans win approval.

A petition to the council to make the orders permanent said: “These trees bring significant amenity benefits to the local area and provide a positive contribution to the street scene on Campfield Road and Chapel Road.

“The trees are presently enjoyed and clearly visible from footpaths and public roads and enhance the views for visitors and residents from within and around the Shoebury Garrison conservation area.

“Also, the trees enhance this historic environment and provide a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the setting of nearby listed buildings. Notably, the benefits of these trees would also apply to future residents of any proposed development on the site.”

The petition added: “These mature trees add to Southend’s overall urban tree canopy cover, which is currently below the minimal threshold of 15 per cent for coastal areas recommended by the Forestry Commission. Presently the ward tree canopy cover for Shoeburyness is 12.3 per cent.”

A council spokesman said: “Tree preservation orders can be requested from members of the public if they believe a tree or group of trees warrant such protection.

“These requests are reviewed and judged on their own merits, based on national guidelines, before a final decision is made on whether or not to put an order in place.”

“Tree preservation orders only go before the council’s development control committee if the orders receive objections, and are considered entirely separate to any individual planning applications.”

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “Preserving and enhancing biodiversity is a key consideration when we plan and build new developments.

“We are aware of the temporary tree preservation order and will continue to work with the local authority as we prepare a planning application for the redevelopment of the Campfield Road site.”

The petition can be found by visiting bit.ly/3ywe6zz

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter