Giant Redwood at gateway to Epping could be felled due to subsidence

A notable 22-metre tall landmark at the gateway of Epping could be removed due to the damage it is causing to properties.

Cracks have appeared in one of the properties in the development known as Fir Trees on Palmers Hill due to subsidence caused by trees pulling excessive amounts of moisture out of the clay beneath.

An application has been submitted to cut down a 22-metre-high giant redwood, which has a preservation order on it, on the corner of Tidy’s Lane.

An expert report had recommended that an 8.5-metre Purple Leafed Plum and a 19-metre Cedar also be removed while another 22-metre Giant Redwood be reduced in height to 18 metres.

These recommendations have not been asked for in submissions to Epping Forest District Council.

The application says that root barrier has been considered as an alternative to tree removal and may be viable however this requires further appraisal to evaluate the constraints of the site.

The cost of the barrier is currently estimated to be £35,000 to £40,000. Superstructure repairs and decorations are currently estimated to be £18,000 should the tree works be undertaken.

Costs for underpinning and repairs in the event the tree works do not proceed are currently estimated to be £96,000

Epping Forest district councillor Jon Whitehouse said: “People in Epping do place a high value on trees in the area and if people do want to cut them down, particularly if they have got TPOs [tree protection orders], you need to put forward very strong evidence to justify that.

“And we would expect our trees officers to look very hard at the case put forward and where possible suggest measures which don’t involve felling.

“Because sometimes you can deal with stuff by other arboricultural interventions, it depends quite what the issue is.

“It is not enough just to assert there is subsidence. You need to very carefully justify why felling is the only option.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter