Anger over felling of landmark trees

FELIXSTOWE: Growing concern was voiced today over the imminent axing of seven trees in a street regarded by many as the gateway to the town.

Council chiefs have revealed that the trees, which have stood for more than 60 years in Beatrice Avenue, Felixstowe, will not be replaced – but say substitutes will be planted elsewhere in the resort.

The seven, mainly horse chestnuts which currently countrywide are being ravaged by a killer virus, have died or are in poor health.

They have been marked with a yellow cross and will be felled later this month when the road is closed for resurfacing work.

Phil Cobbold, of Beatrice Avenue, questioned why the new trees were not being planted in the same area.

He said: “If the trees are not replaced, it will not only have a significant adverse impact on the visual amenity of the area, but will give a bad impression to visitors to our town.

“The horse chestnuts must have been there for 60-plus years without affecting private property or highway infrastructure, so it should be possible to find an alternative species which can do the same.”

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Mr Cobbold suggested using London planes (large deciduous trees) as they are used extensively in urban areas.

He also queried whether the cost of removing the old roots had been taken into consideration.

“As the trees are on highway land, the maintenance budget should have factored in the cost of replacing the trees,” he said.

“If not, has anyone explored whether funds can be obtained from other sources to cover the cost?

“Beatrice Avenue is an important gateway to the town centre.”

Suffolk County Council said the presence of the root system of the felled trees would make it difficult to plant new specimens.

“We are not looking to excavate and remove the old roots which would be a costly and disruptive exercise,” said a spokesman.

“Replanting in the same tree pits is not a viable proposition. The opportunities to introduce new tree pits are quite limited.

“London Planes grow to a very substantial height and by virtue of this need a lot of space both above and below ground.

“The close proximity of private property and highway infrastructure pose a potential significant liablity on the highway authority if they were to be planted here.”

n What do you think of the felling of the trees? Write to Your Letter, Evening Star, 30 Lower brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email