Tree Preservation Order agreed for Potters Bar Golf Course
PUBLISHED: 16:19 22 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:19 22 June 2020
Potters Bar Golf Course will be protected under a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), the council agreed on Thursday.
A resident of Potters Bar raised the issue with Hertsmere Borough Council, saying the habitat, age and overall value of the trees across the site made them significant. Council officers assessed the trees, found they were mostly deciduous native species and issued a TPO for the whole site, as many of the trees butt onto public pathways.
Robert Hughes of Tyler Grange, acting on behalf of the potential developers of the site, objected to the planning committee – saying that short term protection is allowed under government rules in an emergency, and pointed out that as not all trees were surveyed then there is no basis to have a blanket TPO for the whole site.
Mr Hughes added: “It is not in the interest of landowners to fell trees in good condition on the golf course”, as they are an asset.
In the report, Mr Hughes also claimed the TPO would “obstruct or complicate” the day to day management and maintenance of the site and could be seen as an obstruction to potential development.
Ward councillor for Potters Bar Parkfield Paul Hodgson-Jones said the landowners objection is why the TPO is needed.
“Well if they wish to maintain the trees then they should have no objection,” said Cllr Hodgson-Jones, “because the TPO is there to protect trees”.
He thinks that the developer wishes to remove trees so future development is easier on the former golf course and cited a previous incident where a developer removed trees so it made it easier to grant a planning application.
He said: “We have been living under emergency for more than three months,” – pointing to the over 1,500 trees scattered across the site and the use by local residents.
Councillor Sarah Hodgson-Jones, representing Bentley Heath and The Royds, said the “trees, like people, are alive” and therefore need protection.
All councillors were in support of the TPO along with the Potters Bar Society.
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