Statement from Councillor Martin Whelton on Plough Lane felled trees

Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member responsible for planning enforcement, said:

“I was appalled to see the serious breach of planning rules which has resulted in a number of trees being felled without our authorisation at the Ford Garage on Plough Lane.

“Our residents like trees. They increase our bio-diversity, and can help to tackle some air pollution. That’s why we’re committed to maintaining and expanding the amount of greenery in our borough. As such, the council has taken immediate action to rectify this situation.

“We have insisted that Ford replace each of the felled trees with new semi-mature trees, plant additional trees along the nearby riverside, work with our schools on environmental projects, and give a significant financial contribution to local community allotments.

“In the interest of value for the taxpayer, we do not want to resort to legal action, so we’re pleased that Ford is swiftly making good on the destruction it has caused, but we do not rule out further action.

“Environmental damage like this will not be tolerated. Our message to any local business or resident who is considering a breach of planning rules is that they will find there is a very high price to pay.”