Giant Sequoia under threat from proposed Albyn Housing development on land opposite Manor Care Centre.
Readers can browse the application here on the highland Council's e-planning site. The reason the Sequoia has to go according to the Arboricultural Impact Assessment is:
“The removal of 40 individually tagged trees to allow the development has a moderate overall effect on the landscape. 31 of the trees recommended trees for removal are of either category C or U. However, the development also requires the removal of 2 category A trees. The large Wellington (T2152) is a very prominent tree on site, but unit 9 and 10 as well as the disabled car parking spaces are well within the RPA of this tree and therefore it would be unrealistic to try and retain this tree. “
During discussions at the River Community Council meeting last night in the Community and Arts Centre concern was raised about the felling of the Sequoia and other nearby trees. The CC have submitted an “extension of time request” to enable them to perhaps submit and objection. They are not against development of the site per se but just wish to see the Sequoia retained – well that is the impression that this observer got from listening to their deliberations.
Here at the Gurn we are minded to support such a submission should the community council be so minded. We would like to draw readers attention to an application that would have meant the removal of a Sequoia just along the road at Rhuallan back in 2005. That application was refused. The Sequoia in Rhuallan then was 25m and this one under threat today is 27m. Here's what we had to say about the danger to that exceptional tree:
"With the pressure on Nairn for housing space it is inevitable that this type of situation will arise but it is by today’s actions that our society will be judged. This is not to say no more houses, never, that would be a stupid attitude but this is about what type of sky-line we bequeath to future generations in this town..
This blogmeister is no tree expert but is aware that Sequoias first came to the UK in the 1860’s and outside of their natural environment in the American Pacific North West the Scottish climate is as close to their homeland as you can get: thus the potential for a lot more growth exists in the specimen at Rhuallan. Imagine the gratitude of citizens a hundred years from now gazing up at the Sequoia and praising the wisdom of their forbears.
It may be that two houses can be built in this plot without felling the mature trees, no doubt the council can seek the views of their experts on that one but the views of the public should be heard too. If you don’t think that mature trees should be felled please go and look at the plans and raise an objection to the application if you feel so inclined. Please pass this information on to any friends or colleagues who would feel inclined to involve themselves in the debate about what kind of environment we leave for future generations in Nairn. If you care, it is worth getting involved, this time anyway.”
What we said then is just as relevant today about this application just along the road. Hopefully a compromise can be reached to allow building on this site but with retaining this wonderful tree, keeping the Nairn skyline and environment looking good – it isn't just about us, it is about future generations. Development yes but keep the Sequoia!