Trees set to be protected at Berwick's Goodie Patchy
Councillors went against the advice of officers to issue a tree preservation order (TPO) for a patch of woodland in Berwick.
Members of the county council’s North Northumberland Local Area Council had been recommended not to proceed with the proposed TPO on the Goodie Patchy, which links Tweedmouth and Spittal, at last Thursday’s meeting.
The application had gone before the committee’s August meeting, but Coun Georgina Hill, member for Berwick East, called for a decision to be deferred for a site visit.
The report to the meeting said: ‘It is considered that the woodland is of poor quality and does not make a significant contribution towards the character of the landscape, therefore the risk to amenity is low.
‘Further, given that the land is to be transferred to a woodland trust it would be practical not to confirm the TPO, but know that it could always be requested at a later date. Notwithstanding this, the felling of any significant number of trees would require a felling licence from the Forestry Commission.’
However, the site visit appeared to sway the decision, particularly for those members who were not even aware of the site’s existence.
Coun Hill again spoke in favour of the protecting the site, saying that it was quite an unknown area, but when people discovered it, their typical response was ‘wow’. She could not see how the Goodie Patchy had no impact on amenity.
Coun Trevor Thorne accepted that trees may not be of the highest quality, but said: “The environment they create in that part of town is special.”
Coun Steven Bridgett added: “I didn’t know it was there, I was shocked.”
Coun Wendy Pattison said: “Berwick doesn’t have many trees so I think these are important.”
The proposed order had sparked some objections.
Comments were received from the owners/occupiers of 4 Hallowstell View, 19 Mount Road and the owner of a parcel of land on Dock Road, which stated that the trees are a nuisance, either by causing reduction in light into properties, impeding maintenance of properties or direct damage to properties through root growth.
Comments were also made that the trees are of poor quality and do not enhance the area’s visual amenity.