Marlhill Copse: New plans to fell trees refused

Marhill Copse protest
Image caption,
Conservationists staged a protest against previous felling plans

Plans to fell more than 100 trees in ancient woodland at the centre of a legal battle have been refused.

Southampton Airport had wanted to fell 116 trees at Marlhill Copse for the purposes of "good forestry".

Last year, the High Court quashed a separate decision allowing removal of trees but work was later approved because some were unsafe.

A Southampton City Council panel refused the latest proposals and instead agreed plans to thin the trees.

At a meeting of the planning and rights of way panel, councillor Sarah Vaughan had asked why the applications were being considered separately, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Officers said the plans approved so far had been on the grounds of health and safety while the latest bid was part of a woodland management plan.

Councillor Lisa Mitchell, chair of the panel, added: "I believe that the felling of those trees would harm the character of the woodland."

Image source, LDRS
Image caption,
Felling work was temporarily halted by a High Court case in May 2020

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