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Bond girl Fiona Fullerton has licence to fell trees

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

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Former Bond Girl Fiona Fullerton won a licence to take down the towering cypress trees

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Former Bond girl Fiona Fullerton has found herself at the centre of a storm over plans to chop down two large trees at her luxury Cheltenham home.

The actress turned property developer won a licence to take down the towering cypress trees as part of a major renovation at St John's Lodge in Suffolk Road.

But neighbours have blasted the scheme as "vandalism" – claiming the 70-year-old cypress trees should be there forever.

They say they are worried Miss Fullerton and her husband are not doing what is best for the community. But the Strictly Come Dancing contestant has denied those claims and said the borough council asked her to replace the cypress trees with holm oaks due to their condition.

Sarah Knightly Brown, who has lived in Tivoli Road for 30 years, said: "The greenery of this area is what makes it so special. If you look at this road, the old trees are so important to the way it looks. Felling them will change the whole atmosphere.

"A lot of residents feel very strongly about this. We don't want these trees to go. They are iconic and have been there ever since I moved in.

"Other old trees have had to go because they have died, but it doesn't make sense to get rid of ones like these which have still got plenty of life."

Peter Swales, chairman of Cheltenham Bridge Club in Tivoli Road, which has around 500 members, went even further.

"Felling these trees basically amounts to vandalism," he said.

"It's just property developers making some cash without a care for the community."

Ms Fullerton and her husband Neil Shackell bought St John's Lodge at Easter last year.

It was previously used as an architect's office, but the couple are in the process of turning it back into a six-bed home.

She said: "The tree preservation officer actually asked us if we were going to take down the trees because they were inappropriate for the area.

"We also took advice from three different tree surgeons and one of the trees is old and unsafe.

"We are just doing what we have been directed to do.

"The trees will be replaced with holm oaks, fitting in with the ones across the road. If neighbours have any concerns we are happy to talk to them about it."

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