A meeting will be held on 3 December 2015 to report to the planning committee of Preston City Council who will decide on the matter of tree removal in Winckley Square, as part of the Winckley Square Conservation Management Plan.
This application is to remove 13 trees within the square. The works to the trees form part of the enhancements of the Winckley Square Gardens as part of a £1m restoration scheme that is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Winckley Square Community Interest Company. The recommended decision is to hold no objection.
Eleven trees have health defects that have been identified as part of the survey including basal damage, leaning and cavities on the main stems. There are four Holly trees that have become overgrown and are forming a visual barrier at the entrance to the park. These trees also impact on CCTV images of the main road and have been the subject of complaints from the Police.
In addition to the above one Hawthorn tree is located in an area with poor drainage and whilst it may appear to be in reasonable condition at the current time the poor drainage, if not remedied, is likely to have an impact on its health in the future. The proposed remedial works to improve the drainage in this area will require the removal of this tree.
The last tree proposed to be removed, a Holly tree, is in reasonable condition, however due to its location close to the mature Lime tree, it is likely to become suppressed in the future. The Lime tree is the more dominant, specimen tree and is contributing more significantly to the amenity of the area. The removal of the Holly tree would allow this to continue for the future.
The works are considered to be acceptable and a Tree Preservation Order is not considered to be necessary in this instance.
It is considered that the removal of these trees would not have an unacceptable detrimental impact on the amenity of the area. As part of the renovation works a replacement 30 trees would be planted and the amenity lost by the removal of the existing trees would be replaced by that scheme. The new trees include a range of different species of larger trees such as London Planes and Birch trees as well as smaller fruit trees including Apple, Pear and Cherry trees.
Aidan Turner-Bishop, a member of the Conservation Management Plan team and joint co-ordinator Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth said: “These proposals seem reasonable and in agreement with the Winckley Square plans we helped to draw up. The hollies are overgrown and there are undoubtedly some trees in poor condition especially those which were self-seeded when the gardens were neglected. The fellings are not for ‘design’ reasons (which would be contrary to the Agreement and the deeds) but for ‘arboricultural’ reasons, which is permitted. All gardens need weeding and pruning and the Square’s gardens are no exception. New trees will be planted so the overall loss of tree cover is temporary. Groundwork is taking care to preserve the gardens’ historic specimen trees.”
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