‘They need to be removed’: no hope of Tombland trees u-turn
PUBLISHED: 10:58 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:58 15 October 2020
Trees will be removed from an historic city road facing a major overhaul after officials said any changes would risk losing millions of pounds of funding.
Norfolk County Council has applied for permission to remove two lime trees from Tombland as part of a £2.5m revamp of the area.
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The trees would be replaced with five new specimens, according to council officer Jeremy Wiggin, who was speaking during a Transforming Cities Fund joint committee on October 14.
More than 2,900 people have now signed a petition against the removal of the trees - and the community’s concerns were highlighted during the council meeting.
Mr Wiggin, Transport for Norwich manager, said: “That scheme has gone through joint committee for approval last year. Work has started on that site in the last few weeks and will continue over the next few months.
“If we were to amend the plans that would require going back to the start of the design process for that part of the city. We would lose the funding we currently have to deliver the scheme as it is.
“Unfortunately we are not in the position to halt the work. Unfortunately these trees do need to be removed but they will be replaced.”
The council says removing the trees will improve lighting and public safety, the bid has left a sour taste in the mouths of the Cathedral, Magdalen and St Augustines Forum (CMSA), a residents’ group with represents people living in the surrounding areas.
MORE: Hundreds sign petition to save trees in historic city area from the chop
During the Transforming Cities Fund joint committee meeting, Liberal Democrats county councillor Brian Watkins, who represents Norwich’s Eaton ward, said: “Hundreds of people have signed a petition to save the trees from the chop. I’m concerned by this as are other people. Can we see a way around having to remove these lime trees and what is the necessity?”
Chairman of the Transforming Cities Fund joint committee, Martin Wilby, said: “I believe there is no way we cannot go ahead with the sceme. The lime trees will be replaced with five suitably-sized trees.”
Gail Mayhew, of CMSA, said: “I just don’t see why in these times of climate change that perfectly healthy trees should be removed.”
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