Move the Trees on Sandhurst Green: Keep it a Safe, Beautiful Place & Retain its History

Move the Trees on Sandhurst Green: Keep it a Safe, Beautiful Place & Retain its History

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Helen Rutherford started this petition to Christopher Robinson (Chairman of Sandhurst Parish Countil)

Nine years ago, I bought my house, Dunks Cottage, next to the clock tower on the village green because of the quality of light in my house and the view over the green, the clock tower and cottages opposite, on Bodiam Road.  I paid a premium for this.

I was very surprised to find that, in April, Sandhurst Parish Council had planted a row of 10 trees on the village green, just 2 metres away from the hedge which forms my boundary. They also planted one tree immediately outside my gate; as it grows, it will block the entrance to my house. I think this is a mistake and has not been thought out very well.

The labels on the trees say that they will grow to between 4 and 6 metres in height, with a spread of 3 to 5 metres: some of them are very fast growing meaning that, in just 10 years time, they will grow between 2 and 4 metres higher than they are currently.  However, according to the Royal Horticultural Society, they will grow much higher and with a wider spread than this.

They will form a second hedge, cast my garden into shade and cut most of the light to the side and back of my house. 

As the trees have been planted less than 2 metres from the path and there is already an existing hedge along the path, they will soon grow into each other and the hedge, forming a tunnel over the path. At night, the area is already very dark; there are no lights on the village green since it is a Conservation Area.  The tunnel will throw the path into pitch black darkness.

This worries me as it will affect the security of people who use the path, especially women and girls, and make the houses affected more likely to be burgled.  My neighbours and I will be particularly affected as the path is the only access to our houses and we both have daughters.

The path is slippery and as all of the trees are deciduous, lose their leaves and bear fruits and berries, these will land on the path and make it even more so.  Moreover, some of the trees are cherries whose roots often stick up above the surface of the ground and are likely to create a trip hazard. 

It has been pointed out to me, by a subsidence expert, that the trees are too close to my house and could cause subsidence.  Had the Parish Council consulted the correct authorities, they would have been told that the roots of some of the trees will extend from minimum 7 up to 11 metres.  My house is 5.5 metres away from them.

I am also concerned that the trees will interfere with the phone lines to my house and my neighbours. I need broadband and phone access to work. One is also planted just 2 metres from the main water supply to my house and seven others.

My neighbours who live around the green are all agreed that they were not consulted about this decision and also would like to see the trees moved to a better thought out location.  Passers by too have mentioned that they are upset because they will no longer enjoy the view of the clock tower as they walk up the path and are concerned about the security and health and safety implications.

If you have an idea for an alternative location, please get in touch.

This problem may seem unimportant to people who do not live on the green, I realise that: however if you look at the Sandhurst Parish Council website they say that they are there to "Serve the Village".  They are supposed to consult with everyone who lives in the village, find out what they want and act accordingly.  Their decisions are supposed to be taken after talking / consulting / communicating with the villagers.  If they plan to make any changes, they are supposed to publish this information so that we all have a chance to comment on any changes planned and, if we choose, come up with other ideas, suitable alternatives.  This is known "democracy". As far as this decision is concerned, none of these steps were taken by Sandhurst Parish Council.

I believe everyone in the village is affected by this last issue, I would really appreciate your help and support.  You can:

Sign the petition to find a better place for the trees and allow the Parish Council to correct their mistake.

Write to and, or,

Attend the next meeting of the Parish Council on Tuesday, May 10th at 7 - 8.30pm

If you are concerned about how Sandhurst Parish Council is run and would also like to make a complaint, you can email:

65 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!