Extra care needs to be taken to ensure that a section of Madeira Drive’s green wall which has been drastically pruned back regrows properly.
A section of the wall running along Duke’s Mound was cut back to its roots by contractors as part of works to improve visibility on the highway.
James Farrell, who founded Brighton and Hove Building Green which has worked closely with the council to restore the green wall, said he understood the need to carry out the work, which was identified as needed for safety reasons during planning for a possible cycle path.
But he’s called on the council to help ensure care for the pruned Japanese spindle plants and if they don’t regrow, to support replanting.
Meanwhile, a group of campaigners have announced they will hold a memorial to the section of the wall on Sunday afternoon, when they will lay wreaths in protest at the pruning.
The Japanese spindle has previously grown at a rate of about 60cm a year. The council says it will be training them against the wall to maintain visibility.
Mr Farrell said: “I understand the work needed to go ahead from a traffic and public safety point of view, and I fully understand that. Work like this is generally best done in winter, outside the breeding season.
“Now it’s been done, it’s important that the plants are cared for and fed to maximise the chance of regrowth. If for some reason it doesn’t really grow, I’d be looking for support from the council to re-plant.”
He added that Building Green was disappointed its experts had not been consulted on the work.
The proposed cycle lane in question runs along the lower half of Duke’s Mound. It forms part of the regeneration of Black Rock which was approved by councillors at the planning committee on 10 June last year.
According to the minutes of the meeting, this and other cycle lanes were not discussed, other than Conservative councillor Carol Theobald saying improvements to pedestrian and cycle ways were welcomed.
Traffic lights at both the bottom and top of Duke’s Mound were also approved as part of the scheme.
A council spokesman said: “We would like to reassure our residents that the green wall at the Dukes Mound junction has been cut back with its roots left intact. The greenery should regenerate and grow back again.
“We will be training the new growth up the wall, to make sure visibility on the highway is maintained.
“During planning work for a possible cycle path on Dukes Mound we identified the need to cut back the overhanging vegetation for important safety reasons, to ensure a clear line of vision for cyclists.
“This work was agreed as part of our wider plans for redeveloping the Black Rock site. The Project Team has a two-year maintenance programme for landscaping and an Ecological Management Plan in place.”
The memorial has been scheduled for 12.45pm on Sunday at the junction of Duke’s Mound and Madeira Terrace. Protestors are being asked to wear something green.
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