A PROTEST was held by a “beautiful” oak tree over fears it could be cut down as residents “came together in solidarity” to oppose further development.

The community rallied together in a bid to save the oak tree in Poors Lane, Hadleigh after nearby Oak Tree Farm was included as a site in Castle Point’s local plan.

Pulling the tree down if homes are built has been touted, with a report stating “in order to improve access of Poors Lane, it will be necessary for the oak tree to be removed”.

Residents, who have been left furious at the potential loss of nature, gathered by the loved tree on Sunday.

Tim Copsey, who organised the protest said: “The oak tree is a symbol of the wider problem that Castle Point faces in that there’s an attack on the green belt.

“It symbolises standing up and protecting what the community values. We want to defend our green belt. It’s all part of a much bigger campaign.”

The council’s local plan proposes to build more than 5,000 homes in the borough by 2033.

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Castle Point resident, Johanne Deverrick said: “Community spirit is very much alive. “We will fight developers and the local plan all we can to not let them cut down this beautiful oak tree which they say is in the way of a secondary entrance they want into a planned development on greenbelt.”

Lisa Stevens, who has lived in the area almost all of her life is urging the council to revise its local plan.

She said: “The gathering in Poors Lane was to ensure the protection of the oak tree, which represents the strength of the Castle Point community to fight the destructive local plan.

“The problem to the developer is that it stands right at the gated entrance of the beautiful ancient woodlands, where if the local plan goes ahead, this will instead become the entrance to a large housing estate, “Our message is loud and clear, the council need to revise the local plan to ensure we all can continue preserve the greenbelt and open spaces that many of us cherish and make regular use of.”

Castle Point Council was contacted for statement.