Regular readers may recall a Gurn article from the 13th of March entitled "Trees and planning applications - another potential felling? It's an article that looks at how perhaps we can ensure that as much of the fine environment we enjoy in and around Nairn can be preserved as future development of the town continues. We linked to the planning application and today we repost a picture of the site location below.
Anyway the Highland Council Forestry Officer has submitted his thoughts and they are against the development. Here's some of the content of his letter to the Planning Department:
"The applicant proposes separate accesses off Mill Road for each property with an almost fully paved frontage to each dwelling. The houses are proposed on the same build line as ‘Essbee’ and there are Side Elevations on drawing 18058.P02C which propose minimal cut and fill, but this is quite unrealistic when compared with the actual topography of the site which drops quite quickly down from Mill Road to the south-east.
Drawing 18058.P02C contains a Site Plan which shows trees with tag numbers and what appears to be root protection areas, but there is no tree schedule to accompany the application. In any case, it would appear that the majority of trees on site are proposed to be removed and some of those trees closest to Essbee appear to have already been removed. Drawing 18058.P02C identifies trees for removal and there is a suggestion that new trees would be planted, but there is no planting detail and no indication of where they would be planted. The drawing also identifies trees which are to be retained and a green line which appears to represent the line of a tree protection barrier, but it does not protect the roots of adjacent trees proposed for retention (904, 983 and 987). The Site Plan does not show any services nor indication of how surface water would be dealt with. I would be concerned that any requirement for surface water soakaway would need to be pushed into the woodland with additional adverse impact.
The Site Plan shows the houses in plot 1 and 2 around 8m away from retained trees 904 and 906 while in plot 3 there is less than 3m between retained trees 983 and 987 and the proposed house. This is inadequate separation which places the house in plot 3 in the root protection area of trees proposed for retention. This also leaves the properties with no amenity garden ground.
I am concerned that the level of tree felling proposed and the additional adverse impact on tree roots as a consequence of the significant infill that would be required to accommodate the access, car parking, three houses, amenity garden ground and site servicing would have a significant adverse impact on the existing woodland. The application does not promote significant protection to existing trees and woodlands on this site and does not provide adequate separation between established trees and any new development, so is contrary to Policy 51 of the Highland wide Local Development Plan."
Any readers wishing to see the full letter from the Forestry Officer and other documentation can head over to application file on the Highland Council e-planning site here. "