CIVIC chiefs has moved to protect three groups of trees after their sites were promoted for development.

Three small plots of land on Beaufort Drive, Bishop's Waltham, were sold at auction last November and were marketed with a potential for housing development, a committee heard.

Winchester City Council tree officer Ivan Gurdler asked the planning committee to approve a tree protection order (TPO).

Mr Gurdler told the committee that the marketing literature for the auction included a CGI of houses on the sites.

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The committee heard there was one objection from an unnamed householder who said the tree roots posed a threat. Mr Gurdler said she had supplied no evidence to back her claim. The nearest tree is 5.5 metres from the house, he said.

Seeking the TPO, Mr Gurdler said: "We don't know what will happen, whether someone will fell the trees over a weekend. They may be under threat from development but the trees are worthy of protection."

The planning committee unanimously supported the application for the TPO.

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