Newcastle activists oppose tree loss to road widening and manor redevelopment

Protesters have launched an online petition to try to force a debate on Newcastle City Council's decision to allow felling of "hundreds" of trees in two separate developments in the city.

Pendower Hall - image: Madraban (public domain 1.0 licence)
Pendower Hall - image: Madraban (public domain 1.0 licence)

The council's extensive £13.5m plans to widen the arterial Killingworth Road and install a new rail bridge entail the loss of over 500 trees and shrubs.

Last week the council also approved redevelopment of the derelict Pendower Hall and grounds, formerly a council-owned training centre to the west of the city, into a a business hub and conference centre, with the further loss of at least 70 trees.

"Trees by Killingworth Road form an important woodland corridor from Jesmond Dene Local Wildlife Site, while trees around Pendower Hall form the historic parkland associated with the Grade II listed building," the petition, launched by the Save Newcastle Wildlife (SNW) group, states.

"If we can get 2,500 signatures on this petition, we can request a full council debate and put an end to decisions that compromise our green heritage."

Launched on 21 July, the petition has of today (25 July) gained 1,825 of its target 2,500 signatures.

A Newcastle City Council representative said: "While a number of shrubs and some trees will be removed as part of the Killingworth Road scheme, 2,225 shrubs and trees will be planted in their place.

"At Pendower Hall, the application was granted on condition that a woodland management and tree protection plan will be put in place. The scheme will not only bring the wonderful listed building back into use but it will ensure that the grounds are restored to their former glory with appropriate and well managed tree cover."

Meanwhile SNW has launched a separate petition to oppose development of land around Newcastle's Havannah and Three Hills Nature Reserve, an area of rare lowland heath noted for being home to the city's last remaining red squirrels.

"Newcastle is the last English city with a population of red squirrels," the group noted.

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