Welwyn Garden City poplars saga finally coming to an end

"COMMON sense and democratic thinking has prevailed." Those were the words of Will Davis, proprietor of the WGC Forum who was referring to

"COMMON sense and democratic thinking has prevailed."

Those were the words of Will Davis, proprietor of the WGC Forum who was referring to the public consultation of the Stanborough Park tree saga.

But he hit out at the Welwyn Hatfield Council over the length of time the process has taken - saying it should have been sorted a year ago.

Back in July 2008, the council decided to fell 673 Lombardy poplars in the car parks at Stanborough Park in WGC.


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But a serious public outcry forced an embarrassing U-turn, and a public consultation into the future of the trees was agreed.

Now the consultation came to an end and the wishes of nearly 200 residents are a step closer to triumph.

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But, there is still bad feeling into why it has taken the council nearly a year to adopt a strategy into the remaining 428 trees - the rest were chopped last year after health and safety fears.

Mr Davis of Hardings, WGC, said: "We should have been where we are today a year ago.

"If the council had announced a public consultation in July 2008, instead of a announcing a decision to fell all the trees with no consultation, many of the south car park trees may still be standing today."

Mr Davis added: "Although this saga has dragged on and on, common sense and democratic thinking has prevailed.

"Hopefully the lessons learned from all this will serve to prevent a repeat in the future."

Former councillor Dennis Lewis said: "The council has come a long way since the shambles of 2008.

"Thanks to the efforts of residents someone had the nous to understand why people were angry.

"The decision to consult was a wise one."

A council spokeswoman said: "Planting was always anticipated to happen this winter.

"Regardless of when the consultation took place, the deadline was always the same and has been met within ample time.

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