patch where "the tree" used to stand in Witters Field

Villagers have blasted housing developers after a Wistaston landmark tree was ripped up and chucked in a skip, writes Jonathan White.

The solitary hawthorn, known by locals as “the tree”, was uprooted as part of the housing development on Witters Field off Church Lane.

It was dug up by contractors to make way for a sewer on the 300 dwelling Bloor Homes Wistaston Brook site.

‘The tree’ was close to the centre of the field and next to a popular footpath crossing the field, enjoyed by walkers, runners and dog walkers.

It was also seen by many as a symbol of Wistaston and is used along with Joey the Swan on the school logo of Wistaston Church Lane Academy.

The ‘Hands Off Wistaston’ community group used the same tree to represent the protection of Wistaston’s green gap against unnecessary, unsustainable and unwanted developments.

Scores of residents have taken to social media to voice their anger.

The tree casts a long shadow at sunset (1)

“I guess an old landmark tree has no place in their shiny new development. Shame on them,” said one.

Another added: “Building companies don’t give a fig for anything other than profits.”

Other comments included “just heartbreaking”, “absolutely disgusting, shame on the developers for ignoring a community icon” and “disgraceful! That’s all I can say!”

Bloor Homes ‘Wistaston Brook’ sales & marketing brochure states: “We make every effort to conserve the natural balance of each location including the conservation of wildlife and the preservation of natural features.

“Care and consideration is also taken to ensure that the environmental impact of every new home we build is kept to a minimum.”

One worker on the Witters Field site said: “It [the tree] was always going to come out… it was in the way of a sewer.”

The tree on Witters Field during a red sky at night (1)

A spokesperson for Bloor Homes said: “Work at Wistaston Brook to bring much-needed new homes to the local area, necessitated the removal of a tree.

“Its removal was in line with the planning permission secured for the site and the tree is not subject to a preservation order.

“Permission for its removal was granted by the local authority.

“Bloor Homes has worked closely with the local council and residents to design an attractive new housing scheme, which will deliver around five hectares of public open space and planting a total of 261 new trees and 15,000 new shrubs and hedge plants.

“The scheme will include a variety of property types and sizes to meet local demand and include new footpaths and a children’s play area to benefit the whole community.”

Villagers had hoped the tree would be incorporated into the new estate either in a garden or as a roadside feature.

All that now remains of the tree is a dirt patch.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said: “The first planning permission for the site was granted on appeal by the planning inspectorate.

“The permission included an arboricultural study, which showed the removal of the tree and this removal was also shown in the subsequent reserved matters application.

“The technical studies submitted with the planning application have always shown the removal of the tree and the findings were not disputed by the council or third parties.

“It should be noted that the development includes a comprehensive landscaping proposal and the planting of new trees.”

(Images supplied by Jonathan White)

The tree whilst hay was being baled (1)


  1. You do have the power to make your feelings known just don’t buy their houses.

    Trees are not a nuisance they are in fact vital for life, so pay attention planning departments!!

    • But local people who live in the area already and are making this perfectly valid complaint aren’t buying these houses anyway. What a ridiculous statement.

  2. Perhaps they can find a 150 year old replacement and put it nearby once the sewer is in place. There are ways to remove trees and the root ball, its done for fancy weddings and Garden shows, pity so little is respected o the past environment.

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