Youth Hostels Association, Fiesole, Bathwick Hill, Bathwick, Bath
The proposed site of tree works is the grounds of the Grade II* mid-19th century villa by H.E. Goodridge at Fiesole, now a youth hostel, situated Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The site is closely abutted to the Bath & Bristol Green Belt and the Cotswolds AONB to the north. The existing garden is densely planted with mature trees, which appear to be a historical remainder of the building’s original landscaped setting, intended to emphasise its “remoteness and individuality” (Bathwick Hill Character Appraisal), and makes a strong contribution to the green, semi-rural qualities of Bathwick Hill in both immediate streetscape views and longer-ranging landscape views across the city.
The application proposes the felling of approx. 16 trees that are indicated to be in a poor condition. The removal of infected/dying trees is clearly appropriate to ensure the overall health of the trees on site. Nonetheless, we take the opportunity to emphasise the cumulative value of tree cover in this area, as part of a larger area of woodland planting, towards the overall character and appearance of the area. We accept that tree removal should be considered as part of a long-term tree maintenance plan where tree felling may be mitigated through planting of suitable replacement species to appropriately sustain and enhance the existing tree canopy.