AN angry councillor has started a campaign to save a 200-year-old tree from being cut down.

The oak tree on Stones Green Road, Tendring, could be removed after an insurance company submitted an application to Tendring Council’s planning department.

Outlining their reasons for the proposals, the insurance company stated that removing the tree is a remedy to the differential foundation movement at the neighbouring address to ensure the long-term stability of the home.

But Ted Edwards, who is the chairman of Tendring Parish Council, said: “The tree was full sized when the house was built, so it isn’t the tree's fault.

“There’s no denying that the tree is causing some damage to the property, but other options should be explored before getting to this point.”

The insurer estimates that repairs could cost up to £90,000 if the plans do not go ahead.

Mr Edwards added: “Removing the tree will take a huge amount of water out of the ground. The chances are that the ground would swell up.

More than 30 concerned residents have submitted objections to the council, with one pointing out that “the area of land next to [the tree] is often full to bursting with water in the winter”.

He added: “Surely this will lead to further problems for the homeowner as it will run back towards their property.”

Another complainant said: “Our existence depends on insects. There will be thousands of beneficial insects, birds and fungi living on this tree.

“It would be an environmental crime to destroy it.”

The tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order which is put in place to protect the natural beauty of an area, or if a tree provides habitat to wildlife.

Both Tendring Council and the insurance company declined to comment.

The future of the tree will be discussed at the council’s next planning meeting on Tuesday, March 14.