Are Parkway trees next for the chop in Welwyn Garden City?

PUBLISHED: 18:27 05 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:21 26 October 2009

The poplars in Parkway - Dr Dennis Lewis fears they could be next for the chop.

The poplars in Parkway - Dr Dennis Lewis fears they could be next for the chop.

AVENUES of trees which line WGC town centre could be next in line for the chop, a former councillor has warned. Dr Dennis Lewis told the WHT he feared for the poplars on Howardsgate and Parkway. He spoke out after our story last week about Welwyn Hatfield

AVENUES of trees which line WGC town centre could be next in line for the chop, a former councillor has warned.

Dr Dennis Lewis told the WHT he feared for the poplars on Howardsgate and Parkway.

He spoke out after our story last week about Welwyn Hatfield Council's plans to remove trees in Stanborough Park due to fears of injury to people and damage to property in high winds.

Dr Lewis said: "What's to stop the council from saying the poplars in WGC are deemed to be hazardous as they are older than the trees at Stanborough Park?

"The trees in Howardsgate and Parkway are iconic poplar settings which create the special ambience and beauty of the vista.

"They are a major part of the beauty of WGC town centre.

"Now the craven council is once again going to cast about it with a chain saw and reduce the car park at Stanborough Park to a tarmac desert."

Dr Lewis, who was a Tory councillor for nearly 40 years until he stepped down last May, added: "The view down Howardsgate, as with Parkway, is dependent for its beauty on these Lombardy poplars - constant vigilance is needed to make sure we don't wake up one fine morning and find our blessed town centre denuded."

Another WGC man also hit out at the council's plans for the trees at Stanborough.

Will Davis, of Hardings, said: "As far as we know the trees in Stanborough Park are strong and healthy, so increased danger due to falling branches is not an issue.

"However, the council states 'there would be a high risk of branches breaking and causing damage to people or property if nothing was done'. Has this ever happened in the last 35 years? Why is it only a risk as of now?

"I see no reason why these trees have suddenly become a threat after all these years, to chop healthy trees down in a public park seems like wanton criminal damage to me.

"It's not the kind of behaviour you expect from guardians of the country's best Garden City."

A council spokeswoman said Dr Lewis' concerns about other Garden City trees were unfounded.

She said: "The trees in Parkway and Howardsgate are on a three-yearly inspection schedule and there are no plans to remove them during this three-year cycle."

* A public meeting to air your views and issues about the tree felling plan takes place at the south side car park at Stanborough Lakes tomorrow (Thursday) at 6.30pm. If you cannot attend, submit your comments by writing to Finesse Leisure Partnership, 4th Floor, Campus West WGC, AL8 6BX by Friday, August 22 (extended from this Friday).

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