A LONG-RUNNING battle to preserve Pershore’s London Plane trees has come to an end after they were felled by council staff.
Workers chopped down the 18 trees on Broad Street on Sunday (March 13) in preparation for them to be replaced with a species of crab apple tree.
The London Plane trees were given the chop after their roots began to force up block paving which created a tripping hazard for pedestrians.
Other problems with the trees were brought to the Town Council’s attention by Coun Chris Parsons’ in 2014 when he claimed the species were blocking residents’ natural daylight and were so high that one resident even had to keep the light on in their bedroom during daytime summer hours.
The controversial decision to fell the iconic trees was made last year by Worcestershire County Council following a public consultation.
Despite asking the public for their views, campaigners led by local resident Shirley Agg branded the consultation a ‘complete farce’
“We were told it would be a public consultation on the future of the Broad Street trees and it wasn’t,” she said.
“I think it’s wrong that the County Council who caused the problem should have the final say over the outcome of the trees.”
Councillors on Wychavon District Council also rejected a motion to implement a Tree Preservation Order on the trees which sealed the fate of the trees which have lined Broad Street since 2002.
Council chiefs claim the crab apple tree replacements will need less maintenance compared to their predecessors and will save tax payers money.
Mayor of Pershore, Coun Tony Rowley, told the Observer he was in favour of the scheme to replace the London Planes.
“There were a number of issues with the trees,” Coun Rowley said.
“Fundamentally they were the wrong trees for Pershore because of the impact of the roots on the footways and the canopy growth blocking sun light to nearby properties.
“I think it was a sensible approach that the trees should go and more suitable tree put in their place.
“I have been in favour of the scheme ever since receiving complaints about people tripping over pavements due to the roots,” he added.