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Community Seek To Save Oak Trees From The Chop Outside Former School Music Centre

21st October 2020 | By Peter Chapman

Oak trees outside the former Oakmeeds School Music Centre at the top of the Burgess Hill Academy driveway are in danger of being felled after an application for their removal was submitted to Mid Sussex District Council.

oak trees oakmeeds school

The building, which was formally the town's library and then the Oakmeeds music centre, is now occupied by the Open Brethren and is called The Oakmeeds Gospel Hall. They want three mature oaks removed, claiming they are causing subsidence to the building.



Burgess Hill's Tree Warden posted on Facebook how the trees all have preservation orders on them and should therefore remain standing.

Mr Bryant also wrote 'Alleged subsidence to the hall is not good enough reason to fell 3 trees. Other solutions, e.g. underpinning should be pursued by the building owners.'

There are 9 trees on the site, 7 are mature oaks, all were given TPOs in 2004.



A damage report sent to MSDC by the applicant, states:
Cracking around openings (windows, outlets) is reported, particularly to the southwest section of the building with stepped cracking in the south and west walls. Internal cracking is reported in the toilet area to the southwest up to 2mm width with client reference to seasonal opening and closing. The concrete floor has historically been re- screeded and levelled due to significant movement and cracking.

The engineering report concludes that the most likely cause of the movement is could represent a risk of heave recovery, given the desiccated nature of the soils, particularly against any previous repair

The engineering report concludes that the most likely cause of the movement is 'subsidence due to nearby mature trees' Removal of trees would allow soil recovery, but could represent a risk of heave recovery, given the desiccated nature of the soils, particularly against any previous repairs.




Town Council Planning Committee Object
At Monday evening's town council planning committee meeting, Cllrs Barrett-Miles, Chapman and Eves all spoke in support of preserving the trees. The committee resolved to send comments back to MSDC to object to the application.

Send in your objections!
If you wish to object to the potential felling of the trees, Please object to Mid Sussex District Council either online at midsussex.gov.uk/planningregister or email Irene.fletcher@midsussex.gov.uk quoting planning ref: DM/20/3491.

Spread the word! Oak trees at Oakmeeds are in danger of being felled!




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