Trees spared chop in victory for Great Ouseburn villagers

Trees spared chop in victory for Great Ouseburn villagers

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Campaigners have saved historic trees from the chop in a North Yorkshire village.

Villagers at Great Ouseburn, near Boroughbridge, teamed up with Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams, after developers submitted plans to build 50 new homes in Seggans Field, which would have seen the 145-year-old lime trees cut down for access.

The avenue of trees runs between Great Ouseburn and Branton Green, and was planted by villagers next to the field – which is an ancient wetland site and has only ever been used as pasture – in the early 1870s as a shaded walk between the villages.

Campaigners said the trees were “a major feature defining the character of the villages”, and this week Harrogate Borough Council refused the application.

The planning committee said: “The proposed development causes harm to landscape pattern and has a significant adverse visual impact on the landscape setting of Great Ouseburn to the detriment of visual amenity, local distinctiveness and the character and appearance of the local area.”

More than 130 comments were logged with the council over the development, many objecting to the proposal and comparing it to similar schemes which had been refused in other areas around the country.

Mr Adams welcomed the decision by the planning committee in Harrogate, and said it was a victory for the village.

He said: “I am pleased that Harrogate planners have made the right decision. We must look after the unique character of our villages and avoid building on sites which play such an important role in defining the character of a village.

“The villagers have impressed me with their determination to oppose this planning application and I am very pleased to be able to support them in protecting such an important feature.”