In her report to the Community Council, the Chair of the Planning Committee, Penny Uprichard, expressed concern about plans to cut down trees in separate developments at Gilmours, Argyle Street, and in Abbey Park. Members queried why the Council was paying half the cost of removal of the trees at Gilmours and it was suggested that the developers should bear the whole cost.
Ms Uprichard went on to say that when trees were involved in an application “it seems to be assumed that they will be cut down for development”. “We think we should be taking more account of global warming,” she added, “because I’m told large trees can absorb up to 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide. “I think the council should be taking this into account”.
“It should be a material consideration, when applications come in that include cutting trees, whether we can afford to keep losing them. We thought Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) protected the trees, but it just seems to save them until a development comes along.”
In a related but separate issue not discussed at the Community Council meeting, members of the public have been querying why so many trees have been cut down at the intersection of the A91 and the new access road serving the proposed western extension/replacement Madras College. While not questioning the need for the road, it appears that many more mature trees than necessary have been removed at this junction. The plan (below) shows trees located well away from the road that were scheduled for removal and passer-by will have noticed that these have already been felled. While these trees may eventually be replaced, it will be many decades before the saplings that are planted will absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide as those lost. In the meantime the most likely fate of the felled trees will be for firewood, increasing pollution and contributing to further global warming.
According to planning law, all development must be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The unecessarily felling of these trees appears to fail this test on at least two counts.
Trees marked for removal (they have already been felled) are denoted by a red cross. Note that many of these trees are not in the way of the road.