Welwyn Garden City landmark tree saved

A CONDEMNED tree, which was set for the chop as part of the Sainsbury’s development in WGC, has been saved.

As previously reported in the Welwyn Hatfield Times, residents were awoken to the sound of chainsaws early one morning last month as contractors working on the supermarket revamp began hacking down an oak tree.

The mature tree, which sits on the roundabout junction of Longcroft Lane and Church Street, was set to be felled to make way for a larger roundabout at the entrance of the new site to accommodate more traffic.

That was until emergency calls were put in to Welwyn Hatfield Council by borough and county councillor Malcolm Cowan, who demanded the workers had to be stopped.

He pointed out no-one was aware the tree was under threat and thorough consultation with both borough and county council was needed.

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And following this consultation the tree, which has been growing for at least 60 years, has been saved – to the delight of the Lib Dem councillor.

He told the WHT: “I am pleased to say it was agreed that the road widening that had led to the intention to remove the tree, was not really needed, and only minor works would take place.

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“This means the tree is saved unless anyone can show the traffic flow round the roundabout is inadequate.

“Instead, the money saved will be used to improve the footpaths at the roundabout.

“This really does look like good news for everybody.”

A Herts Highways spokeswoman said: “We met with the developer to approve their redesigned plans, which we are pleased to say accommodate the tree.”

The Sainsbury’s project manager, Paul Tyler, added: “We amended our plans given the feedback from the community and the council and we are happy to confirm that the redevelopment of Church Road will proceed while retaining the tree.”

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