Lydiate Green Belt – Tree Felling back in August – An update

I covered what I understood to the unlicensed felling of trees off and to the north of Maghull’s Turnbridge Road back in August when the felling took place. The site concerned is also adjacent to the Leeds Liverpool Canal I would add.

Land clearance machinery at work on the Lydiate site disgracefully released from the Green Belt by Sefton Council's nearly complete Local Plan.

Land clearance machinery at work on the Lydiate site disgracefully released from the Green Belt by Sefton Council’s nearly complete Local Plan.

In fact the whole site is with Lydiate as Maghull Brook, which is the Maghull – Lydiate boundary, runs right at the end of Turnbridge Road.

My last posting can be accessed via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/08/19/lydiate-green-belt-turnbidge-road-site-a-further-update/

As some weeks have passed since the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Officer visited the site (whom I am told confirmed that the felling was unlicensed) I thought it about time that the Commission’s tree was shaken so to speak. So I asked the Clerk of Lydiate Parish Council to contact them to see what the end result of their investigations is actually going to be. This is what we have found out:-

I understand that the Forestry Commission’s National Office have said that a restocking notice [an order to replant trees] has been placed on the land.

BUT the FC go on to comment on the fact that this piece of land has been identified as development land in the local plan [That’s Sefton Council’s Local Plan] and they are anticipating a planning application may be made for the site. They point out that any decision Sefton’s planners make will overturn the FC restocking notice. On that basis it may well be that the FC tries to work with the local authority and potential planning applicant to get sufficient numbers of trees included in the development.

I suspected that the the end result of the felling and FC investigations would be some form of compromise along these lines. However, considering that Sefton Council did nothing when the trees came down and it was local residents who brought in the FC then we can only hope that some good comes from this sad course of events.

Of course, if Sefton Council had not designated the land for building then the trees would not have been felled at all I assume!

Lydiate – Further update on that development site off Maghull’s Turnbridge Road

Well the land clearance machinery had all disappeared by last Friday evening but a lot of trees had been felled by then.

This view of the site is from the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath. Uprooted tree stumps can be seen on the far side of the site. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

This view of the site is from the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath. Uprooted tree stumps can be seen on the far side of the site. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Many of the stumps have now, I understand, been marked with a number and I am presently assuming that this was done by the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Officer. If I have this wrong please shout.

The highest number on the stumps I understand is 27. I am not sure what girth of stump qualifies as one that collectively would need a felling licence but I suspect that the amount of felling that has taken place would probably have required a felling licence.

BUT DID SEFTON COUNCIL DO ALL THAT IT COULD?

The worrying question is this though. Could Sefton Council have taken some action, to at least pause the felling whilst the Forestry Commission investigated the felling licence issue, by putting temporary tree preservation orders on the trees within this site? If so why did they not do so when first when first made aware of the mass felling of trees earlier last week? This will need to teased out of a local authority that was seeming saying to those who contacted them that they could not do anything.