JULY 10 2023 – THE MIGHTY OAK – “CALL TO SAVE OAK TREE” ON THE ANCIENT PARISH BOUNDARY OF IFIELD AND CRAWLEY [NEAR TOWN CENTRE LIBRARY & IFIELD AND CRAWLEY MEMORIAL GARDENS]

‘The Mighty Oak’ – Crawley Library – Photo by Richard W. Symonds

THE MIGHTY OAK – “CALL TO SAVE OAK TREE” ON THE ANCIENT PARISH BOUNDARY OF IFIELD AND CRAWLEY [NEAR TOWN CENTRE LIBRARY & IFIELD AND CRAWLEY MEMORIAL GARDENS]

CALL TO SAVE OAK TREE IF CRAWLEY DEVELOPMENT GOES AHEAD – Concerns at 300 new flats in centre of Crawley up to 12 storeys high at Telford Place car park

Outline plans to build up to 300 flats in blocks between four and 12 storeys high have been submitted to Crawley Borough Council.

The application from Affordable Housing and Healthcare Group Ltd – working in partnership with the council – is for the former car park at Telford Place, next to the library.

The news has not gone down well with one member of the Three Bridges Forum – but his concerns have nothing to do with the housing and everything to do with the potential loss of an oak tree.

John Cooban said the development made a lot of sense but feared the planned access to the site would mean the chop for the mature tree which has stood at the side of Telford Place for decades.

 

Telford Place development. (Credit: Affordable Housing and Healthcare Group Ltd)
Telford Place development. (Credit: Affordable Housing and Healthcare Group Ltd)

The applicant’s plan is to close the current access with Southgate Avenue to traffic and open a new one, which would cut through from the corner of Telford Place to the Denvale Trade Park roundabout and on to Haslett Avenue East.

All that stands in its way is the oak tree.

Mr Cooban said: “While the general scheme content of new homes in a landscaped public realm setting is to be welcomed, it is simply not true to suggest that a similar scheme could not beneficially coexist with the existing tree retained.”

The oak is rated grade A, meaning it is large and of a high quality – the sort of tree which local authorities tend to want to keep.

 

John Cooban (Credit: other third party)
John Cooban (Credit: other third party)

An option for the new road which would avoid the tree and protect its roots has been included in the application.

But it would lead to a loss of parking spaces at the library and a loss of some of the space earmarked for landscaping and public realm improvements.

Notes from the arboricultural impact assessment submitted with the application said: “Its loss will be noticeable in the immediate vicinity after the development is completed.

“However, both the retained trees, and comprehensive new landscaping proposals, will rapidly mitigate the loss and limit the impact on local character to the extent that there will be no long-term detrimental impact on local character.”

 

Telford Place development. (Credit: Affordable Housing and Healthcare Group Ltd)
Telford Place development. (Credit: Affordable Housing and Healthcare Group Ltd)

FEBRUARY 19 2022 – THE SATURDAY WALK – TO THE MIGHTY OAK OF IFIELD WOOD [AND AN ANCIENT YEW TREE] – 11AM FROM POETS’ CORNER [OPPOSITE THE PLOUGH] IN IFIELD VILLAGE – RETURN BY 1.30PM [APPROX]