Council defends felling dozens of trees on Doncaster street

Doncaster Council has defended felling dozens of healthy street trees, despite objections from angry residents.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 10:52 am

Local authority workers have started work chopping down 64 lime trees which line Middlefield Road in Bessacarr, describing it as ‘necessary work’.

But angry resident Jane Knight, aged 63, who lives on nearby Brierly Road, said it was ‘awful PR’ from the council and questioned their green credentials.

She added that the felling bore resemblance to the fiasco in Sheffield where the city council felled hundreds of healthy street trees and sparked a huge community campaign against the operation.

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Local authority workers have started work chopping down 64 lime trees which line Middlefield Road in Bessacarr, describing it as ‘necessary work’.
Local authority workers have started work chopping down 64 lime trees which line Middlefield Road in Bessacarr, describing it as ‘necessary work’.

Ms Knight said: “Doncaster Council has carried this out in a very crass and inept way - they haven’t let anyone know apart from people on the immediate road.

“There’s so many people involved with lots of different groups in this area I don’t understand why they haven’t consulted more people to explain why they were doing this and told us about replanting if any, they could’ve avoided a lot of angry residents.

“I first woke up to the chainsaws and it was such a shock - I know the council will talk about damage to pavements and what not but in this environmentally conscious time, is it really the only option to do this?

“It’s been handled really badly, it’s a lovely road and it’s been turned to ruin from this work - this is more than just a bit of damage on the road.”

DMBC bosses claimed that the ‘majority’ of residents were in favour of the proposals and the work was being carried out because of ‘increasing tree root damage’.

Gill Gillies, assistant director of environment, at Doncaster Council said: “Based on all available options and, after careful consideration, we have made what we believe to be the best decision in the interests of all parties. We will be minimising disruption by planting a smaller species of replacement trees as we swap out the existing lime trees.

“The footpaths were identified as a priority for resurfacing, predominantly as a result of increasing tree root damage. It is also very likely that root regrowth would quickly resume under the new path and cause surface damage if the existing trees were retained.”