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Thurston oak trees face the chop as part of new residential build

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Oak trees which are hundreds of years old face the chop in Thurston as a new footpath and cycle path is built as part of a new housing development.

The trees and hedgerows along Ixworth Road are in the process of being removed for the Persimmon Homes build, with an arboricultural officer determining that none of the trees is significant enough to warrant protection from a tree preservation order.

County Highways has determined that the trees and hedges must be removed to provide drainage infrastructure and clear visibility for traffic.

Concerned resident Dan Pipe and one of the oak trees Picture by Mark Westley.
Concerned resident Dan Pipe and one of the oak trees Picture by Mark Westley.

Dan Pipe, who works in the area, described the loss of the trees as ‘wanton destruction’ and ‘reason enough for all to hang our heads in shame’.

County Highways engineers and planning enforcement officers have described the removal of the trees as ‘unavoidable’.

Construction of the new paths commenced at the end of February and is ongoing with the trees having not yet been cut down.

One of the trees along Ixworth Road (30850627)
One of the trees along Ixworth Road (30850627)

As part of the plans for the College Park development, replanting has been agreed, although Mid Suffolk District Council has described this as hedgerow replanting and has not outlined any plans for tree replanting at this stage.

A date has not yet been fixed for this replanting process.

Mid Suffolk District Council described it as ‘regrettable’ that the oak trees would be affected.

Persimmon Homes said: “We are obligated to provide a cycleway alongside Ixworth Road. Unfortunately, some trees will need to be removed to facilitate this.”