Healthy trees in Coleshill that were branded a 'trip hazard' have been saved from the axe

After a rethink, planners say they have now found an alternative

A group of trees in Coleshill’s Cole End Park have been saved from the axe after borough councillors called for an alternative to be found to the issue of their roots creating a trip hazard.

A group of trees in Coleshill’s Cole End Park have been saved from the axe after borough councillors called for an alternative to be found to the issue of their roots creating a trip hazard.

A report to last September’s planning committee of North Warwickshire Borough Council said the roots of the trees would have to be severed so that the riverside path could be repaired.

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But the report went on: “Their removal, however, will seriously affect the stability of the trees. As they are in close proximity to a public footpath and to overhead wires, the failure of the trees could cause a risk to the public."

The nine trees in question were supposedly protected as they were within Coleshill’s conservation area but Cllr Colin Hayfield (Con, Coleshill South) told the meeting: “There is nothing actually wrong with the trees - no-one is saying they are diseased or falling down - they are simply considered to be inconvenient in terms of footpath maintenance.

“I hear that these trees are protected already but clearly they’re not very well protected otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about cutting them all down!”

Councillors deferred the matter and at this week’s planning committee they were told that the application to chop down the trees had been withdrawn.

A new report penned by officers explained: “The trees and the wider setting have been visited by members together with an arborist from the county council.

“The main issue leading to the deferral was to see if there were alternatives to the proposed felling of the trees particularly in respect of the removal of the trip hazards from the roots.

“A different approach was outlined at the time of the visit – namely the raising of the footpath. The county arborist has forwarded a specification of these works to the relevant officers at the council.”

Cllr Neil Dirveiks (Lab, Atherstone Central) said: “It is good to hear that our questioning of the report has actually borne fruit. It would have been very easy to sit back and say ‘we have this recommendation, we’ll go with it’. Sometimes that is the necessary course of action but it is good to hear that we have managed to make a difference on this one.”