Anger over plans to axe old village tree in Westwoodside

Leni Kenyon, of Westwoodside is unhappy that the council are planning to pull down this tree. Picture: Andrew Roe
Leni Kenyon, of Westwoodside is unhappy that the council are planning to pull down this tree. Picture: Andrew Roe

Plans to uproot an old tree as part of a refurbishment scheme at a village pavilion and car park have caused anger amongst residents.

The proposed tree felling is part of a wider plan to improve parking and facilities at Westwoodside playing fields.

But village resident Leni Kenyon is not happy with the plans.

She claims young children have used it to play in for more than 20 years, while it is also home to wildlife and birds.

The 69-year-old post office clerk, of Holm Road, said: “It has been a part of village life for many years.

“Youngsters like to play in it and they have never been any trouble.

“There are also all kinds of birds, blue tits, grey tits and even a woodpecker, which live in there.

“It would be a great shame if they pulled it down.

“They could surely just trim it a little.”

Haxey Parish Council was recently awared a £34, 000 grant from North Lincolnshire Council’s Community Pot to fund a major improvement scheme at the playing fields and associated facilities.

This includes upgrading the car park, improving access and security and extending the function and meeting rooms.

David Knowles, chairman of Haxey Parish Council, said there was a majority decision taken by Westwoodside Playing Fields’ Management Committee (WPFMC) to remove the tree.

He said: “We have written to the residents concerned and have invited them to have their say on the matter.

“The tree would have blocked off security lighting to the car park.”

Project leaders have said the improvement scheme could be completed by Christmas.

In a letter to Mrs Kenyon, Haxey Parish Council said: “The WPFMC met on October 14 and after discussing the matter in detail resolved by majority decision to remove the tree when the car park is refurbished after the building work and also remove the tree stumps from the northern edge of the car park. The committee also resolved that should it be required, another tree, more appropriate for the site could be planted in the vicinity of the removed tree.”

A North Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “The tree doesn’t currently have a preservation order to protect it from works of cutting, topping, felling or uprooting the tree.

“A visit was made in October 2013 assess the tree.

“After an investigation to see if the tree has any significant visual importance to the area, it was decided that it didn’t.

“Therefore it would not be appropriate to make such an order.”