Delighted and disappointed
Sir – Welwyn Garden City Society is disappointed that the cabinet has seen fit to continue with its proposed scheme to cut down so many trees in Stanborough car parks. We are delighted that the outcry that greeted the council s initial proposal – to fell
Sir - Welwyn Garden City Society is disappointed that the cabinet has seen fit to continue with its proposed scheme to cut down so many trees in Stanborough car parks.
We are delighted that the outcry that greeted the council's initial proposal - to fell the lot - has actually saved around 460 trees. What this says about the quality of the previous two reports that justified the original "decision", the council and Finesse Leisure tried to defend, tells its own story.
Of the 208 trees in the south car park which are in dispute, this society supports the felling of 32 of these that are classified as dangerous.
Far from this being a decision based on health and safety grounds, the reason why so many people and this society object to this proposal is because the felling of the remainder (ie, some 176 healthy trees) has not been properly justified.
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It was not justified at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday and we have serious concerns about the fact that this decision was in fact taken at an earlier time anyway and we have complained to the council formally about this.
No budget has been allocated to any replacement replanting scheme - one that residents have never seen. So, at a time of severe economic downturn, the chances are much higher that we shall simply be left with another boring municipal car park - one that will never get replanted at all.
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What is undeniable is that the council and its officials have had ten years and more to decide how the poplars in these car parks should be replaced. All of a sudden the trees have become so dangerous that they have to be felled within three months. That is barely credible but it conceals the fact that elected councillors as well as officials should have acted long ago. They failed residents and the town stands to be poorer as a result.
John Marks, chairman, Welwyn Garden City Society.