Save Thurston's precious trees!

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Planning permission has been given to Persimmon Houses for the construction of 250 new houses to the West of Ixworth Road in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Part of the plan includes a new footpath and cycleway to enable residents of these dwellings to make their way into the centre of the village and to the school. 

Instead of putting this path set back from the road, behind the line of trees and hedgerows, Persimmon Homes have obliterated all but a few of the 20 or more middle-aged trees alongside Ixworth Road. Looking at the arboricultural report, these trees would have lived a cumulative 1,390 more years, providing habitat for millions of animals, food for billions and sequestering approximately 31,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. Instead, the trees which have been cut down will now release the carbon they had been storing. Countless birds and invertebrates have been left homeless, and at least two squirrel dreys have been destroyed. One of the oak trees still standing is due to be retained, but two other very mature oak trees are set (we believe) to be felled in the near future.

We demand that these remaining trees are saved, with Tree Preservation Orders placed on them, and propose that other options exist with regards to the path. For example, the road at the point parallel to the tree at the corner of the site could be reduced to single lane. Priority signage could be used as a traffic calming measure, and the cycle and footpath could snake around the tree, using the freed space. 

We also demand that rather than the "like for like" replacement of these mature trees, Persimmon Homes re-instate high quality hedgerow habitats and plant several replacement trees for each tree felled. It takes 150 years for a tree to become mature, so simply planting saplings to replace trees which have been growing for over 50 years is a unacceptable. The trees planted as part of the landscaping scheme should be native, as stated in the Ecological Constraints, and native plant species and wildflower seeds should be planted in and around the development.