Otley residents concerned after trees are chopped down at East Busk Lane

Wharfedale Observer: Surveying the site of the felled trees and hedgerow at East Busk Lane are, from left, residents Helen Thornton, Val Tate, and Alison Watson Surveying the site of the felled trees and hedgerow at East Busk Lane are, from left, residents Helen Thornton, Val Tate, and Alison Watson

Residents have expressed dismay after a line of trees in Otley were chopped down by a green site being eyed by developers.

Local householder Alison Watson and her neighbours were shocked to find some eight mature trees, and an “ancient hedge line”, gone from the side of East Busk Lane last weekend.

The adjacent field was the subject of a recent, unsuccessful outline application to build 28 new houses – a move seen by many as signalling the first stage of the much larger ‘east of Otley’ development.

Just last month Leeds City Council, at the request of Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon), had issued a new tree preservation order to protect a number of trees in the area.

But none of the removed trees were covered.

Alison said: “We were shocked to see this run of hedge and mature trees being ripped out on Saturday morning.

“They were full of wildlife – wren, owls and thrush nest there, as well as many other songbirds.

“The lane in this area was also a favourite place for bats.

“We are aware that planning permission had been sought for the field next to the road but this was turned down in December, so it is unclear why the landowner felt it necessary to do this”

Coun Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) is equally puzzled, and has asked for an investigation.

He said: “I understand that planning permission for a housing development on the field has recently been refused, so I can see no reason why the hedge and trees on this narrow country lane had to be removed.

“When I heard over the weekend that the works were taking place I asked council officers to investigate and see what action can be taken.”

Town and ward councillors opposed the East Busk Lane scheme, claiming it would generate traffic problems and have a negative impact. They are also calling for previously developed – brownfield – sites to be used first for housing before greenfield plots are considered.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:52am Sun 26 Jan 14

Frances Lincoln says...

Landowner cuts down trees on own land.......is this really news????

Next week woman trims bush in her own garden!!!

Man digs up tulip bulbs!!!
Landowner cuts down trees on own land.......is this really news???? Next week woman trims bush in her own garden!!! Man digs up tulip bulbs!!! Frances Lincoln

3:25pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Frances Lincoln says...

Why am I getting negative comments. The landowner is clearly entitled to cut down trees on their own land as are Helen, Val and Alison.

Next time Cllr Campbell cuts his grass will there be an investigation??.....
ridiculous!!!!
Why am I getting negative comments. The landowner is clearly entitled to cut down trees on their own land as are Helen, Val and Alison. Next time Cllr Campbell cuts his grass will there be an investigation??..... ridiculous!!!! Frances Lincoln

4:38pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Half Pint Bob says...

Ha ha. I guess this is what happens when Cllr Campbell goes around protecting all trees for no reason. Serves him right. At least drivers will get better views of other cars coming now. Local people should be pleased that road safety has been improved.
Ha ha. I guess this is what happens when Cllr Campbell goes around protecting all trees for no reason. Serves him right. At least drivers will get better views of other cars coming now. Local people should be pleased that road safety has been improved. Half Pint Bob

7:42pm Mon 27 Jan 14

MRH118 says...

I think what some local residents are asking is, why has the landowner gone to such expense to remove the trees and hedgerow so soon after the rejection of the planning application. It has destroyed trees and displaced wildlife. There were three men and expensive machinery used in the process which seemed unnecessary. I could understand it if the landowner lived there and it affected any view he had but this is not the case, so why?
As for line of sight, drivers would only benefit from trees being removed on the other side of the road due to the way it bends at this point.
I think what some local residents are asking is, why has the landowner gone to such expense to remove the trees and hedgerow so soon after the rejection of the planning application. It has destroyed trees and displaced wildlife. There were three men and expensive machinery used in the process which seemed unnecessary. I could understand it if the landowner lived there and it affected any view he had but this is not the case, so why? As for line of sight, drivers would only benefit from trees being removed on the other side of the road due to the way it bends at this point. MRH118

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree