More than 200 trees on Alnwick development site get protected status
Protected status has been given to more than 200 trees on a former Alnwick school site being developed for housing.
Alnwick Town Council has applied for a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to be made on 204 lime trees within the grounds of the former Duke’s Middle School.
Northumberland Estates plans to convert the old school into 27 apartments plus the construction of 22 houses and bungalows, and a two-storey block of 49 retirement flats.
The Duke of Northumberland’s development company had queried the requirement for the TPO, pointing out the planning approval is subject to conditions requiring the development is carried out in accordance with plans which show the trees left in place.
However, the request was unanimously approved by the North Northumberland Local Area Council.
Cllr Georgina Hill, proposing approval, said: “Local authorities are sometimes accused of not standing up to developers with deep pockets and strong arms so I am happy to propose this.”
Principal planning officer Vivienne Cartmell had earlier told members that TPO status would protect the tree should the site be sold or residents want to do anything to them in the future.
Cllr Martin Swinbank, chairman of the town council’s planning committee, said: “Alnwick Town Council welcomes the decision to protect the horseshoe of trees surrounding the former Duke’s School Field, with TPOs.
"This is something we have requested a number of times, over the last few years. The trees are an integral part of the townscape, a haven for birds, animals and insects and deserve the best possible protection.
"Generations of children who attended the Duke’s School and played on the school field in their youth, can now rest assured that these beautiful lime trees have been granted the best possible protection. These trees are still relatively young, and future generations of Alnwick residents will now be able to enjoy them for many years to come.”
“Alnwick Town Council takes the care of both Alnwick’s historic buildings and its natural environment extremely seriously.
"We know that our community care passionately about where they live, work and play and we shall continue to speak up for, and work with others to preserve and enhance the place we all love and call home.”