Tynemouth residents call for new woodland after trees are felled

Residents are calling for new woodland to be create after trees were chopped down in a conservation area.

Friday, 6th March 2020, 9:00 am
The felled trees in Tynemouth.

People living at the Spanish Battery in Tynemouth were left angry after workmen felled mature trees next to a narrow bridge on Pier Road without warning.

After being told by North Tyneside Council that the trees were removed to enable essential safety work at the bridge, they now want the council to fulfil its policy of planting two trees for every one felled by planting new trees at the site of the former Scout Hut at nearby Priors Haven.

Bill Corrigan, chairman of Friends of the Spanish Battery, said this would be in line with advice from statutory consultees that the old scout building has no historic importance and planting would enhance the area.

Mr Corrigan said: "People were saddened when the trees at the bridge were felled and upset the work was carried out without any consultation.

"But we must be positive and this presents an opportunity to plant trees at the Scout Hut site and enhance the wildlife corridor which would otherwise be under threat.

"We are completely opposed to commercial development at Priors Haven and creating woodland by replacing the trees lost at the bridge would be a satisfactory solution.''

Mr Corrigan said at least four large trees, believed to be sycamores and around 50 years old, were felled at the bridge site.

He said residents had previously received letters from Capita, saying the bridge is nearing the end of its lifespan, needs strengthening, and a planning application would follow.

The plan is to infill the bridge with concrete and provide a wildlife tunnel to afford a safe crossing, along with bat and bird boxes on nearby mature trees.

No mention was made of tree felling, and residents then complained after workmen arrived without warning to remove the trees.

Mr Corrigan said: "This is a conservation area and wildlife corridor where habitat preservation is of the utmost importance. Turning the scout hut site into woodland would be the ideal solution.

"Residents sincerely hope the council follow the advice of both the statutory consultees.

“This is a perfect spot to replace the lost trees, safeguard the wildlife corridor from commercial development, and give this open space back to nature.''

Phil Scott, head of environment, housing and leisure at North Tyneside Council, said: “We recently wrote to local residents to inform them a planning application was being submitted to strengthen Pier Road Bridge in Tynemouth.

“However, immediate work was required ahead of bird-nesting season to remove a small number of trees that were causing structural damage to the bridge.

“In line with our tree-planting policy, a minimum of two trees will be planted at a suitable alternative location for every one removed.

“As soon as the essential repairs to the bridge are carried out, we will be improving the landscaping and working to enhance the conservation area with the addition of high-quality trees.

“This will follow the guidance of the council’s biodiversity officer.”