Sandbanks golf club is ordered to replant 34 protected trees

Sandbanks golf club is ordered to replant 34 protected trees

January 27, 2020

Sandbanks golf club where Harry Redknapp is a member is ordered to replant 34 protected trees it cut down in act of ‘environmental vandalism’

  • Furious neighbours said felling the 70ft pines denied them privacy from golfers  
  • Poole Council has ruled the £1,725-a-year club violated a Tree Protection order
  • Felling originally blasted by homeowners as ‘wanton environmental vandalism’

The prestigious Parkstone golf club that chopped down 34 protected trees has been ordered to plant new ones to remedy their act of ‘environmental vandalism’. 

Furious neighbours in £1million houses backing on to the sprawling Sandbanks course have been locked in a row with the club, who they accused of hacking down their only source of privacy from golfers. 

Poole Council has now ruled the £1,725-a-year club, which boasts members including Harry Redknapp, replace the 70ft mature pines.

The club violated a 56-year-old Tree Preservation Order (TPO) when they had them cut down in December 2018.

The view from Peter Norrie’s garden of the trees at Sandbanks golf course in Poole, Dorset, before they were felled

After the trees were chopped down (pictured) neighbours in £1million houses backing on to the sprawling Sandbanks course said  their only source of privacy from golfers had gone

Cutting down the pines was blasted by homeowners as ‘wanton environmental vandalism’.  

Resident and retired banker Peter Norrie, 61, previously said: ‘Frankly, I’m astonished that protected trees can be felled over a two day period and there is no recourse. 

‘In a nation where the onus is to protect trees, where is the confidence in the legal process?’

Adrian Riley, 53, a renewable energy entrepreneur, said: ‘They created a lovely barrier, now golfers can look into our house and garden and we can see the driving range.’  

Parkstone Golf Club counts Harry Rednapp as one of its members 

The official notice states that the council found the club had applied for a Forestry Commission felling licence to remove the trees but omitted the fact they were subject to a TPO.

Had this been made made known then, the Forestry Commission would have consulted the local authority which would have objected to the felling.

The notice states: ‘On 7 and 12 December 2018 the council received complaints from members of the public that Parkstone Golf Club was felling mature trees subject to the protection of a 1962 Tree Preservation Order.

‘The felling licence statutory declaration wrongly confirmed the trees to be felled were not subject to a TPO.

‘As a result of this omission, the Forestry Commission did not formally consult the council on proposed tree work.

‘If the council had been consulted we would have particularly objected to the felling of mature trees due to the positive contribution this group of trees made on the sylvan character and amenity of the reservoir and wider locality.

‘The council has evidence at least 34 trees out of 110 trees felled across the golf course were covered by the 1962 order.

Millionaire neighbour Peter Norrie (pictured) had threatened to take legal advice on mounting a private prosecution over the matter

‘As a result of the protected trees being removed both immediate neighbours and the wider community have suffered a significant amenity loss of mature pines whose estimated average age is in the region of 70+ years.’

The notice orders the club to plant seven Scots pine trees with a minimum height of 16ft each, three English oaks of 10ft in height and three maples also 10ft in height.

Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council recommended that tree guards should be installed around the replacement specimens to give them suitable protection for the future.

A spokesman for the golf club refused to comment on the matter but confirmed they were appealing the council order.

They do not have to plant the replacement trees while the appeal process is ongoing.

A separate criminal investigation being conducted by the same council into allegations the club breached a TPO is also still ongoing. 

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