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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Developer to be sued over Clifton tree felling

A HOUSING developer that felled dozens of growing trees at the entrance to Clifton Hall grounds is being sued by Defra.

Longtown-based Woodglen chopped down the trees last February. The felling caused uproar in Great Clifton, where villagers had fought to save the site from development.

The planning battle followed an application by Woodglen to build modern houses around the Georgian hall.

Villagers won their battle when the plans were turned down both by the council and at appeal.

One of the arguments was the impact of development on mature trees and the area’s red squirrel population.

Limited permission was granted for five homes at the southern end of the site, where consent for some tree felling already existed.

In February it was found that Woodglen had bulldozed an area of trees.

An investigation revealed those with individual preservation orders had not been touched, but villagers fought on to try to bring the matter to court.

Defra launched its inquiry in April looking at whether the developer had, or needed, a special felling licence.

This will now be decided by the courts, with Woodglen Developments and company boss Mike Cotter both the subject of legal action.

The cases were adjourned by West Allerdale magistrates to November 14.

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