Destruction of trees and archaeology

Picture: PA Wire

Picture: PA Wire

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On March 12th, we were appalled to witness the desecration by felling of all the protected veteran trees on the Greenfield Road site, and particularly the five mature trees along the south side of the field adjacent Greenfield Road.

Surely it would not have been impossible to incorporate these particular trees into the site entrance; it only supports the irony of the site becoming a garden centre.

The Aborticultural Impact Assessment (December 2013) clearly stated these trees “play an important role in arboreal habitat, amenity function and landscape and wildlife connectivity across the local area. The removal of these trees would significantly diminish the benefits provided by the current tree stock and is largely irreplaceable.”

In addition, the grant of planning permission (February 11th, 2015) stated any site development was not to go ahead without – among a host of other criteria – an archaeological report. As far as I am aware, there is no submission of such a report on the list of downloadable planning application documents.

I can, however, vouch that at least one local archaeology group can provide sufficient aerial data to confirm the archaeological significance of this site.

It is within the boundaries of an Iron Age enclosure, which extends from Bunkers Hill to Heirs House. The bulk of the ditch and terracing features are now beneath Boundary Mill.

This completely sad episode reeks as an example of the kind of cavalier attitude taken by contemporary planning and development strategy to override the value of our heritage and amenity for monetary gain. It is such that the planners, having squeezed out the lemon, then allow the developers to come along and grind their heel into the rind.

In doing so, they unwittingly reveal themselves to public consciousness as nothing more than clod hopping dinosaurs carrying heavy weight but containing little in the way of brains.

Tom Sharples

Wood Street, Colne