Eastbourne residents are calling to protect a ‘magnificent’ rare tree from being cut down.
Hundreds of people have signed a petition after plans were revealed to remove the purple beech tree in Upper Avenue, which has a Tree Protection Order.
Petition creator Jay Nolan said he believes the tree has been around for at least 129 years, and is one of the last of its kind in Eastbourne.
He said, “It’s a massive, magnificent tree. In 2015 we fought to put a Tree Protection Order (TPO) on it.”
The petition, on 38 degrees, says, “This is one of the last remaining trees of its kind in Eastbourne and has stood proudly for at least  years, survived two World Wars and now the freeholder of our building is trying to get it removed. None of the residents in my house want this to happen!”
The applicant wishes to remove the purple beech, outside Beverley Court, as they claim it is causing “substantial damage” to walls at the front of the house.
In planning documents submitted to the council the applicant described the tree as a “weed-type” and said it poses a health and safety issue.
The documents say, “It is causing substantial damage to the retaining walls at the front of the house, we would prefer to remove the tree. It should be noted we did not apply to have the tree TPO’d we don’t know who did but it is a weed type tree now causing physical damage to its surroundings and structural driveway walls.
“It also causes excess shading and is [out] of proportion for its location. It should be noted we are happy to replace with a more suitable tree, it has caused viewable structural damage to the driveway walls and represents a health and safety issue short/long term.”
The applicant said a surveyor advised them there is no way of “mitigating” the situation, and it must be removed.
They say over the past five years the drain between the house and front door has had to have been relayed, as well as a side drain having issues.
To view the full planning application, visit the Eastbourne Borough Council planning website, under the application number 190478.
And to see the petition, visit 38degrees.org.uk