A new Home Bargains store in Wimbledon has been told it cannot cut down three mature trees on the site of its new home.

The former Homebase store in Weir Road will be replaced with the discount retailer.

Last week, Merton Council’s planning committee agreed to put in place a Tree Protection Order (TPO) to protect nature on the site.

The developers have already cut down an Elder tree which was due to be protected by the order.

At the meeting, a council planning officer told councillors: “One that the tree officer is very keen to protect that is a Dawn Redwood tree, we have actually received a proposal to cut back this tree to six metres high.

"You can come to your own judgement on that, but it is certainly not being supported by our tree officer.

"That suggests a threat to this tree which is a very fine specimen.

“We have a threat around this – It is a redevelopment site and we’ve had an objection from the agent, so we’re asking members to confirm the TPO for the remaining three trees.”

A Hornbeam and Horse Chestnut tree are also now protected from being cut down.

But the applicant objected to the order.

The council report reads: “The objection is summarised as follows: That the landowner does not wish to remove the trees and is obligated to retain them under the planning consent.

“Notwithstanding that, it is the opinion of the agent that the removal of these trees would not have a significant impact on the locality as there are other trees in the locality and that the planting of five new trees adds to the visual amenity of the street scene.

“The new store intends to operate for many years and therefore the Council can rest assured that there is no threat to the existing trees from a change of ownership or the lack of knowledge over the intention to retain the existing trees on the site, which deems the TPO unnecessary.”

Plans for the Home Bargains store were approved in 2021 and jobs at the shop in Weir Road were advertised in April.

It is set to open in November this year.