Town Council Leads Discussions After ‘Deeply Saddening’ Removal of Trees
Bridport Town Council arranged and hosted a meeting with the Foundry Lea development consortium and local stakeholders last week, in the aftermath of works that wrongly removed trees and hedgerow alongside the Foundry Lea development site on the town’s western edge.
At the emergency meeting last Monday 5 December, representatives from local councils and other stakeholder groups heard from the developers, who set out weaknesses in the administrative, communications, and supervision processes that led to the mistaken removal of trees, hedgerow, and shrubs on West Road, outside the development site. They then set out work they are doing to ensure there is no repeat of the error, and how they will reinstate the hedgerow – including ‘semi-mature’ replacement trees, and native hedgerow species.
The developers have also offered other forms of ‘reparation’, including:
- Work with the Town Council, Wessex Community Assets, and Raise the Roof, to train people in the skills needed to re-use the wrongly removed trees, the aim being to provide a legacy made from the wood;
- Sending consortium staff to carry out local community volunteering activities; and
- Working with schools to provide student-designed ‘hedgehog houses’ and ‘hedgehog highways’.
Town Council Leader, Cllr Dave Rickard, said “We are of course very unhappy with what has happened and made this clear to the developers. We accept that the deeply saddening devastation was as a result of a series of mistakes and omissions rather than any deliberate act, but it was a poor start to their work in Bridport and it must not be allowed to happen again. We welcome the commitment to reinstatement of the hedgerow and the other compensatory actions – and have been reassured that these will not be funded from money to be used for the development itself. We have also received a commitment to better communications with local residents, and regular schedules so that we can see what works to expect in future.”
There are separate ongoing discussions with the landowners whose hedgerow was affected.
Town Clerk, Bridport Town Council