Eastbourne man brands felling of trees ‘wanton destruction’

Stephen Kittoe with grandson Dylan Jegorovs-Clarke at the site where the pine trees have been cut down
Stephen Kittoe with grandson Dylan Jegorovs-Clarke at the site where the pine trees have been cut down
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A grandfather has spoken of his anger after a row of pine trees was cut down at an ‘ugly’ retail outlet.

Stephen Kittoe, 68, says workers told him the trees by the outlet at the Lottbridge Drove Roundabout were cut down to increase visibility of the store.

The way it was ... the trees before they were cut down. Image: Google Maps

The way it was ... the trees before they were cut down. Image: Google Maps

He said, “That’s the last thing I wanted. That area is hideous at the best of times.”

The majority of plants in a row of around 20 pine trees lining a grass verge were chopped down last weekend.

Mr Kittoe, who lives in Southbourne Road, said he was dismayed at the “wanton destruction of a little visual relief from the utter tedium, ugliness, and litter that blights the entire area around Staples roundabout and must deter well-heeled tourists from returning to Eastbourne”.

He has called the landscaping – which the council has said was legal as it was not in a conservation area and trees had no preservation orders on them – ‘corporate barbarism’.

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “The trees were not subject to a Tree Preservation Order and were not within a conservation area so the landowner acted lawfully by removing them.”

The council protects important trees by applying Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). These may cover individual trees or groups of trees which are then protected from unauthorised pruning, felling, topping, uprooting or other damage.

Many trees in Eastbourne are protected by TPOs. Anyone wishing to carry out work on a protected tree should apply to Eastbourne Borough Council for permission.

Trees may also have other protections on them even if they are not covered by a Tree Preservation Order. This could be trees in conservation areas, or trees protected by planning covenants or conditions.For more information visit the council website: www.eastbourne.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-events/parks/