Council U-turn on city centre tree felling following public outcry

Lancaster City Council has backtracked on its plan to fell seven prominent lime trees in the city centre following a public protest.

Image: Ray Turner
Image: Ray Turner

The fate of the Market Square trees was debated at a full council meeting on 3 February, after a public petition to save the trees garnered over 1,700 signatures during a day of protest at the square.

Councillor Janice Hanson, cabinet member for regeneration, had earlier said that honeydew deposited by the trees on surfaces below represented a hazard, and that the council intended to replace them with trees in planters. She also claimed they blocked light from buildings around the square.

But she told the meeting that the trees will now be retained, with further trials taking place of different cleansing methods and products and research into best practice.

"It has become very clear to me that the trees in Market Square have much significance to the public," she said.

"I have listened to these views and believe that we should act accordingly. The trees will be retained but we also need to ensure we have in place a realistic and affordable management and maintenance regime in the square."

Council officers will report back in Autumn 2017 "with costed recommendations for Cabinet to consider", she added.

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