The Parish Council has been discussing the tree for a few months now following concerns that were raised about the short and medium damage the tree is/has the potential to, cause to the footpath and the drainage system as well as safety concerns given the size and a number of ‘tripping points’ caused by the roots.
Having considered the matters raised Lancaster City Council, Public Realm were asked to inspect the tree and the damged footpath etc. This subsequently led to an application being made to Lancaster City Council requesting permission to undertake work on the tree – this did include an option to fell it should this be absolutely necessary.
The decision notice received from the City Council allows a period on two years for any work to be carried out and sets out a number of conditions (see Round and About) that must be considered and/or adhered to. There is no suggestion that the tree must not be felled under any circumstances.
At a subsequent meeting of the Parish Council, Members confirmed (as had always been their intention) to consult with residents, initially through an article in Round and About, to seek views on the tree. It was agreed that a period of three months consultation should take place.
Before this article was published a campaign to ‘Save the Tree’ was launched following which around 60 objections to the ‘felling of the tree’ have been received. Very valid and well thought out comments have been provided in many cases and Members are very grateful to those that have taken the time to contact the Parish Council on this issue. Every response has been acknowledged by the Parish Clerk.
Several responses and indeed the leaflet as part of the campaign refer to a tree surgeon declaring that the tree had ‘reached its maximum growth and was strong and healthy’. Members are also grateful that this has been brought to their attention and this statement is backed up by the Parish Council Minutes of November 2016. There is, and apparently never was, however, a detailed written report on the state of the tree at that time.
Members have now decided to contact three Arboriculturalists, directly from the City Council’s list of specialists, seeking quotations for gaining their expert written advice and detailed options, including long term options and cost of maintaining the tree.
We hope that this post goes someway to clarifying the Parish Council’s position. In the meantime, the consultation goes on. Please contact the Parish Clerk with your views by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org