The tree works application which would result in the felling of the copper beach tree on Repton Avenue has understandably provoked a passionate response from local residents.

The beech tree in question, in combination with the Manor House, are significant local landmarks, and act as a gateway to Repton Park. 

But awareness of their existence is not limited to those who live locally. The close proximity to the Waitrose supermarket means they are recognised by 100s, probably 1000s of people.

Although now divorced in terms of land ownership, many would consider their relationship still exists and that their impact is all the more substantial due to their proximity to each other.

This point is noted by the conservation officer in paragraphs 49 and 50 of the report which state "They both contribute to the setting of the other" and "the visual qualities of the tree must be considered as having a very significant weighting in any decision."

Whilst it is reassuring that the building owner is taking steps to ensure the preservation and further degradation of the building, I don't think we can ignore the tree's role in this setting.

Although the report does detail some alternative mitigation routes, I don't feel that these have been properly explored. It is also hard to imagine how the proposed replacement trees will offer any comparable visual impact, certainly not in the lifetime of most of us here.

Given the combined regard that residents hold for this pairing, my plea to the planning committee is simple. Please be 100% certain that all possible alternatives have been properly explored and that you are in no doubt that that destruction of this magnificent tree is the only practical and reasonable option.

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June 14, 2022 • 3:00PM

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