LETTER: Matlock trees are vital for screening

Readers' Letters
Readers' Letters

Re: Protection of roadside trees, adjacent to the proposed McDonald’s drive thru’ and Majestic Wine store, Bakewell Road, Matlock.

Bakewell Road into Matlock is a relatively modern design of highway, typical of twentietcentury approaches to towns, with residential development on one side and business uses on the other side, some of which have changed several times over the years.

One element of former improvements of the A6 into Matlock was the creation of a wide highway verge on which trees were planted, albeit spasmodically along its length from the Darley Dale boundary to the edge of the town centre, to provide vital screening of the business uses.

These include a group of four mature ash trees close to the new roundabout, which were protected from damage throughout the carriageway raising exercise a few years ago to facilitate the construction of the new river bridge.

These trees have served to screen the visitor’s view of the site, so it is critical that they are retained and the proposed wine store re-designed or the already approved scheme implemented instead.

With garden trees against the steeply sloping ‘daleside’ topography of the north side of Bakewell Road, these highway trees, mainly limes, produce an avenue-like appearance for people approaching the town centre.

They help to maintain the identity and individual character of Matlock, compared to other towns, by forming an attractive gateway feature.

Should any of these existing trees be lost or removed and should McDonald’s fail to plant additional trees, as well as shrubs, to both frame and provide screening of their car park, the visual appearance will be devalued significantly.

However, the more fundamental reason for protecting all these trees, collectively, is their amenity value and the positive contribution which trees make to the visual and aesthetic quality of Matlock’s townscape

Therefore, I urge the District Council to recognise the importance of the trees from both a local and wider environmental (ie wildlife and carbon emissions) standpoint and (a) demand an accurate survey of the trees along the entire Bakewell Road verge (b) protect the trees by means of a Tree Preservation Order, and (c) refuse the current planning application which, if approved in its present form, will inevitably condemn the four trees in front of the proposed wine store, without allowing any opportunity or space for the planting of suitable replacements and therefore no element of screening whatsoever.

Martin Burfoot.

By email.