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West Suffolk Council explains decision to allow felling of 'iconic' protected trees at Northgate House in Bury St Edmunds

A council has explained the felling of two ‘iconic’ protected trees at a Bury St Edmunds property.

An application was made last August to fell two 35 metre tall London plane trees at Northgate House, in Northgate Street, which the applicant’s agent said were in a ‘parlous condition’ and were 99 per cent dead after suffering major deterioration.

However, West Suffolk Council refused the application as it felt that while the trees had ‘undergone a significant deleterious physiological event’, they were not dead and, given their amenity value, wanted to allow the trees time to see how they responded in the next growing season.

Northgate House, in Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google
Northgate House, in Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google

Suffolk News was contacted following concerns the trees had since been felled.

Cllr David Roach, portfolio holder for local plan development and delivery for West Suffolk Council, said the trees had been monitored and, following concerns from the owner that they had further declined, a request for emergency removal was made and a member of the authority’s arboriculture team visited and assessed them.

He said: “They found the trees had declined so much they now presented a serious risk of causing harm.

“As they posed such a high danger of causing harm under the law the council can give the authority that they be removed, which we did.

“But the owner also has a duty to replace these protected trees and we will ensure that this happens.”

Responding to the felling of the trees, Martyn Taylor, chairman of the Bury Society, said: “It is a shame that these iconic trees had to come down.”

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