A LARGE number of trees at a site earmarked for more than 1,000 homes in Newton Abbot are to be protected from the chop.

It means Teignbridge District Council will have to give formal agreement if developers want to axe maple, ash, whitebeam and oak trees on land surrounding Bradmore Woods, Ingsdon. It’s the location for a ‘new neighbourhood’ scheme in the emerging Teignbridge Local Plan.

The Tree Preservation Order (TPO) was discussed at the council’s planning committee this week following a public consultation where one member of the public objected. They said that the trees were of poor quality, had limited significance and the TPO conflicted with the allocation of the land for development.

Ilsington Parish Council supports the order and said it would welcome more trees to be protected in that area.

Planning officers said the rural site is currently used for agriculture and recreation.

Removal of any trees would need to be considered 'holistically' at the time of the formal planning application and any works or management to the trees would need approval.

The TPO was to prevent any threat to the trees prior to, during and after development.

Business manager for strategic place Rosalyn Eastman said: 'This is an expansive agricultural area at the moment and the inclusion of trees within the garden community of the built up area will be really important to the sense of place that is created in the future, which is the reason why we want to make TPOs alongside the local plan.'

But councillors raised concerns about ash trees being included, as ash dieback is on the rampage. They were told that some diseased trees are beginning to recover and are still worthy of being part of the TPO.

Mrs Eastman said all the trees were being reviewed, labelled, identified and categorised and several modifications had been made to the TPO following the consultation.

The planning committee also agreed to protect an oak tree in the garden of 17 Gatehouse Close, Dawlish following concerns that the tree’s long term health may be affected by 'unsympathetic pruning.'

Councillors were told the tree was visible from Gatehouse Close, The Paddock and the surrounding residential properties. The loss of, or harsh pruning of the tree would make the area look less attractive.