Scores protest at plans to fell old plane trees

Posted On 08 Feb 2010 at 9:16 am

Plans to fell seven century-old plane trees in Clyde Road, Brighton, have sparked an outcry.

Brighton and Hove City Council says recent checks on the trees’ age and condition have raised concerns and so need to come down.

But residents say they would rather keep them. They have stuck notices saying “Save this tree from council vandalism”, set up a Facebook group which now has more than 100 members, and almost 60 people have now signed this e-petition.

Posting on the group’s wall, Liz Wakefield said: “Considering that Preston Circus is one of the pollution hotspots in Brighton, removing mature trees seems a bit short sighted.”

Alan Fred Pipes wrote: “The cynic in me says this is to make space for parking meters, but the council says in a letter to residents they are to be replaced by a spindly ‘upright compact’ species, which presumably will hold onto its leaves longer.”

In a statement posted on its website, the council said: “The plane trees are between 80 and 100 years old and there are concerns that large branches or sections of the tree could break off because of structural weaknesses.

“The council’s arboricultural team, which has carried out the safety checks, works to protect and preserve the thousands of trees on the city’s streets, and tries to avoid felling trees wherever possible.

“We appreciate local residents are fond of the trees and letters have been sent to people in the street to keep them informed. There are also plans for a public meeting to discuss their concerns and look at other options, for example it may be possible that some of the trees could be cut back, to avoid felling at this stage. Any trees which are felled will be replaced.”

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