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EOTAS project - frequently asked questions regarding trees on site

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions concerning the trees at the project site.

Was there an original intention to remove the trees on the northern boundary?

What conditions were placed on the development as part of the original planning consent?

Why has it been necessary to remove trees on the northern boundary?

Is there a plan to replace the trees on the northern boundary?

How will the boundary of the development be secured?

Where is the knotweed present at the site and what is the management plan to eradicate it?

Why are wood chippers being used at the site?

Is there a risk that knotweed will spread because of the use of the wood chipper?

Are there any plans for CCTV to be installed on site and what coverage would this have on neighbouring land?


 

Was there an original intention to remove the trees on the northern boundary?

No, the trees in this area were established and their presence did not adversely impact on the design development of the building, therefore, there was no reason during early planning stages to be concerned or suggest removal of these trees.

What conditions were placed on the development as part of the original planning consent? Planning Application Number: 2017/2665

Condition 6: A tree protection plan will be submitted to the Planning Department and recommendations implemented in line with the plan.

Condition 20: A scheme detailing the eradication of Japanese knotweed will be submitted to the Planning Department and approved in writing and the scheme shall then be implemented.

Why has it been necessary to remove trees on the northern boundary?

There is a large quantum of knotweed to the north east of the site which needs to be eradicated in order to progress with the permanent works, this includes roadways, retaining walls, fencing and landscaping.

The contractor must dig through the root balls of the trees on the north embankment to remove the knotweed. Should this work be carried out while the trees were at their original height would have had a significant and adverse effect on their stability and could have, in time, led to either the death of the trees or more likely allow the trees to blow over either onto the adjacent field or onto the adjacent residences. This would clearly be an unacceptable safety risk to the construction team, school users and neighbours in both the short and long term.

By coppicing the trees to the centre of gravity, the tree is significantly lowered meaning disturbance to the root balls will not affect the stability of the trees. For clarity, the contractor will still have to dig through the root balls of the trees but the risks and impact of doing so is now greatly reduced.

Is there a plan to replace the trees on the northern boundary?

Yes, there will be 19 new trees planted on the north boundary as well as 10 different species in the hedgerow mix to promote good ecological enhancement with both Hazel and Hawthorn included to promote rapid growth. The 19 trees will be a mix of extra heavy standard trees and feathered trees which will be positioned to promote screening of the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) without intruding on homes and gardens.

The landscaping design has been subject to a further review session with the ward councillors on 12 June 2020, and the design has been well received, this will now be subject to the consent of the Planning Officer.

How will the boundary of the development be secured?

All developments carried out by the local authority must comply with Secured By Design, which is a police approved standard of security. There will be a 2.4m high fence surrounding the boundary of the PRU. This fence will be erected at the bottom of the slope to maximise the security benefit and minimise the visibility of the fence from the adjacent homes. The tree line will not form the secure boundary of the PRU.

Where is the knotweed present at the site and what is the management plan to eradicate it?

There is knotweed present both within the boundary of the new development and in the location of Cockett House. Swansea Council Parks Department will undertake work to the Cockett House site. Further communication with residents will be required regarding the treatment of knotweed which may have spread beyond council owned land.

Why are wood chippers being used at the site?

Where possible the cut logs have been stacked to promote ecological enhancement through habitat generation. Branches that were too small to be stacked have been chipped on site, this is a recognised method of works while maintaining trees and hedgerows.

Is there a risk that knotweed will spread because of the use of the wood chipper?

There has been no knotweed put through the chipper.

Where works were carried out within this area the plant was decontaminated.

The area of knotweed that is affecting the permanent works on site will be subject to excavation and offsite disposal and any remaining knotweed on site will be subject to a treatment programme.

The contractor's knotweed specialists have recently undertaken further survey work in that area on site to confirm volumes, and knotweed removal will take place week commencing 15 July 2020.

Are there any plans for CCTV to be installed on site and what coverage would this have on neighbouring land?

There will be CCTV cameras installed on the outdoor areas of the site, providing full coverage of the PRU area, the coverage will be focused on the PRU site and its boundary.

 

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