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‘They need to be removed’: no hope of Tombland trees u-turn

PUBLISHED: 10:58 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:58 15 October 2020

Norfolk County Council wants to take down two lime trees as part of the new Tombland revamp scheme. Locals opposing it include Hugh Mcglyn, Ben Price, city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet and Olly Price aged eight        Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Norfolk County Council wants to take down two lime trees as part of the new Tombland revamp scheme. Locals opposing it include Hugh Mcglyn, Ben Price, city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet and Olly Price aged eight Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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Trees will be removed from an historic city road facing a major overhaul after officials said any changes would risk losing millions of pounds of funding.

Norfolk County Council wants to take down two lime trees as part of the new Tombland revamp scheme, but some locals aren't happy about it. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMANNorfolk County Council wants to take down two lime trees as part of the new Tombland revamp scheme, but some locals aren't happy about it. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Norfolk County Council has applied for permission to remove two lime trees from Tombland as part of a £2.5m revamp of the area.

MORE: Businesses concerned over seven months of roadworks in busy part of Norwich

The trees would be replaced with five new specimens, according to council officer Jeremy Wiggin, who was speaking during a Transforming Cities Fund joint committee on October 14.

A message from local residents to Norfolk County Council on one of the two lime trees which will be removed from Tombland, Norwich, as part of the £2.5m revamp scheme. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANA message from local residents to Norfolk County Council on one of the two lime trees which will be removed from Tombland, Norwich, as part of the £2.5m revamp scheme. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

More than 2,900 people have now signed a petition against the removal of the trees - and the community’s concerns were highlighted during the council meeting.

Mr Wiggin, Transport for Norwich manager, said: “That scheme has gone through joint committee for approval last year. Work has started on that site in the last few weeks and will continue over the next few months.

Martin Wilby, Conservative county councillor. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.Martin Wilby, Conservative county councillor. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.

“If we were to amend the plans that would require going back to the start of the design process for that part of the city. We would lose the funding we currently have to deliver the scheme as it is.

“Unfortunately we are not in the position to halt the work. Unfortunately these trees do need to be removed but they will be replaced.”

Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton. Picture: Liberal Democrats.Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton. Picture: Liberal Democrats.

The council says removing the trees will improve lighting and public safety, the bid has left a sour taste in the mouths of the Cathedral, Magdalen and St Augustines Forum (CMSA), a residents’ group with represents people living in the surrounding areas.

MORE: Hundreds sign petition to save trees in historic city area from the chop

During the Transforming Cities Fund joint committee meeting, Liberal Democrats county councillor Brian Watkins, who represents Norwich’s Eaton ward, said: “Hundreds of people have signed a petition to save the trees from the chop. I’m concerned by this as are other people. Can we see a way around having to remove these lime trees and what is the necessity?”

Chairman of the Transforming Cities Fund joint committee, Martin Wilby, said: “I believe there is no way we cannot go ahead with the sceme. The lime trees will be replaced with five suitably-sized trees.”

Gail Mayhew, of CMSA, said: “I just don’t see why in these times of climate change that perfectly healthy trees should be removed.”


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