A PROMINENT tree on the edge of Corsham is due to be felled this week by builders Redrow in a move that has been dubbed as ‘bullying tactics’ by residents.

Redrow, whose Burlington Grange development in Bath Road is still subject to a number of conditions imposed by the planning inspectorate after being approved by Wiltshire Council, got permission to fell a tree on the A4 junction with Bradford Road.

But residents and councillors, who have opposed the development from the start, believe the felling is an attempt to bully the council into allowing the site to go ahead, even if the conditions have not been approved.

“There is no reason for this tree to be removed,” Councillor Ruth Hopkinson, chairman of Corsham Town Council, said. “I am a great believer in keeping our town green and in this case it appears to be an example where the developer tries everything to find loopholes to pressure the council to approve that final permission.

“There is no earthly reason why they should be removing this now. If they satisfy the conditions for the mines, then they will have a roundabout here, but it doesn’t take long to cut down a tree, so they could do it then.”

Planning inspectors told Redrow in September they had to satisfy conditions relating to noise and vibration tests for the houses, which would be built over a working stone mine, before work on the 150 homes could go ahead. These conditions are still outstanding.

Tony Clark, vice chairman of the Pickwick Association, added: “Redrow has jumped the gun on this.

“They have already failed twice to convince the Council that they can build houses to meet the noise and vibration standards set by the Planners as a pre-requisite to development.

“They will certainly have a third go – but there is no guarantee they will succeed even then. If they can’t do this the houses will not be built and there will be no roundabout – and a very happy tree.”

Redrow declined to comment on the row over the tree but instead supplied a statement confirming it was working with planning.

They said: “Redrow is working closely with the planning authority at every stage to ensure we meet all the planning requirements.”