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Council Settles With Developer Over Damage to Stoke Park Oak Trees

Published on: 22 Sep, 2022
Updated on: 24 Sep, 2022

The severed roots of one of the oak trees adjacent to the Guilden Village student accommodation before it was felled.

A settlement has been reached between Guildford Borough Council over two oak trees in Stoke Park allegedly damaged during the construction of Guilden Village.

The council ordered that they be cut down because some of their roots had been cut making them unstable, a claim disputed at the time by both the developer of Guilden Village, Future Generation, and the building contractor, McAleer & Rushe, who maintained they could have been saved.

See also: Council ‘No Delay’ To Stoke Park Oaks Removal: Developer Says ‘Trees Can Be Saved’ and Doomed Stoke Park Oaks Felling As Early As Monday – ‘Criminal Investigation’ Ongoing

In a statement issued this afternoon (September 22) Council Leader Joss Bigmore said: “We have negotiated a settlement with the developer for the replacement of the oaks in Stoke Park. This has been agreed at £15,000 and six new trees will be planted.

“We have written to Angela Richardson, our local MP, asking her to consider a change in law that would allow local councils to better protect nearby trees. We await her response.”


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Responses to Council Settles With Developer Over Damage to Stoke Park Oak Trees

  1. Wayne Smith Reply

    September 22, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    What an utter disgrace.

    It’s taken nearly 12 months of “investigation” and GBC just rolled over? The developers must be laughing all the way to the bank.

    From The Guildford Dragon article October 10, 2021:

    “The leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group, Cllr Ramsey Nagaty, (Shalford) said: ‘The matter is currently a criminal investigation so it would not be appropriate for officers to comment on the details. I am assured whatever the situation, GBC would look to plant mature trees as opposed to saplings.’ “

    So perhaps Cllr Bigmore would like to clarify what happened to the criminal investigation and whether we can expect to see six mature trees planted or will it be six saplings?

  2. Chris Holmes Reply

    September 23, 2022 at 8:33 am

    That’s an absolute bargain – for the developer. Whomever negotiated with the council did a superb job.

    There’s an interesting book called Growing greener Cities that puts an interesting slant on the monetary value of mature trees. Albeit American, the figures are interesting none the less.

    These are 1992 calculations, or thereabouts: a single tree provides $73 worth of air conditioning, $75 erosion control, $75 wildlife habitat, $50 pollution control. Total $273/year. Compounding interest over 50 years and you end up with a value of over $50k/mature tree. Even removing the aircon value the monetary value of just one of these mature trees seems to far exceed the price paid by the developer.

    It seems to me we’re not necessarily placing the appropriate value on these assets. I’d genuinely like to know where the £15k came from and how that was calculated.

  3. Dave Middleton Reply

    September 23, 2022 at 11:12 am

    While £15,000 is a significant sum for an “ordinary” person, it’s no more than pocket change for the developers and will not even scratch their profits from this development.

    Let’s hope that in future, the planning authorities are much more vigilant over these developments, right from the start of the application process.

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