Lancaster trees removal splits opinion on street

Wendy Haslam, John Middleton, Brenda Middleton, Coun Caroline Jackson and Coun Tim Hamilton-Cox on Coniston Road where trees have been controversially felled.
Wendy Haslam, John Middleton, Brenda Middleton, Coun Caroline Jackson and Coun Tim Hamilton-Cox on Coniston Road where trees have been controversially felled.

A decision to cut down trees on the Newton estate has divided residents.

Some householders are angry that the mature lime trees were removed on Coniston Road but others have campaigned to get rid of them saying they were too big for the area.

Andrew Long, who lives on Coniston Road, said: “I was shocked. No one told us. No one asked our opinions.”

Another resident Wendy Haslam, who lives next door to one of the trees, said: “The tree was healthy and beautiful. It was full of birds.”

But another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I’ve watched these trees grow and grow. They are twice the size of the houses. It’s not that I don’t like trees but I think they are far too big for this area.

“They make it atrocious to walk on the pavements because of the debris and they take up a lot of pavement.”

Coun Caroline Jackson, from Lancaster City Council Green group, said: “We contacted county officers two weeks ago about trees on this street.

“They told us nothing about intended tree felling. Now officers tell us that MP Cat Smith put in a request for a tree survey and as a result of that survey, county officers ordered five trees be felled and all of them on the same street.”

Harvey Danson, area highways manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “These trees are being taken down due to damage to property caused by their roots, as well as a risk of the trees coming down on someone due to their condition.

“BT have been installing new equipment on Coniston Road which will now make it unlikely that we can replace the trees in the same locations, but it is our intention to replace them.”

Cat Smith said she had been contacted in 2015 by a resident who was worried the roots were causing subsidence issues for houses on the street.

“It’s only right that an independent survey was carried out,” said Ms Smith.