'Threatening' letters sent to Ipswich residents who replaced street trees

Anna Caston, Edward Bastow, Shiela Duerden, Sandra Griffiths, Ann Woodings, Stella Day, Paul Kingham

Anna Caston, Edward Bastow, Shiela Duerden, Sandra Griffiths, Ann Woodings, Stella Day, Paul Kingham and Terry Reed, residents of Westwood Avenue in Ipswich who have been told to take trees down by the council. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Furious Ipswich residents are upset at Suffolk County Council for telling them to take down the trees they planted. 

Those from Westwood Avenue argue that they are just replacing trees that the council have left to decay outside their homes. 

One of the old trees on Westwood Avenue which is rotting. Picture: Danielle Booden

One of the old trees on Westwood Avenue, which is rotting. - Credit: Danielle Booden

But SCC thinks that as the highway authority all works should be sent directly to them to carry out.

So it has sent a letter to residents threatening legal action if the seven trees are not taken down.  

Westwood Avenue resident Edward Bastow said: "It's utterly ridiculous. They should be encouraging tree planting not using heavy-handed threats of legal action to stop people planting. 

Westwood Avenue in Ipswich where local residents have planted new trees to place the old ones that f

Westwood Avenue in Ipswich where local residents have planted new trees to place the old ones that fell down and are rotting. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"Residents are trying to do the right and they get a load of abuse. 

"It's just so ridiculous, they should replace the trees but instead they wasting time sending legal letters threatening the local community.

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"It's just pathetic, isn't it?"

Mr Bastow added residents are not just thinking about the local environment but also the way trees can protect grass verges. 

"If the council did their job and replaced the trees we wouldn't need to replace them," he said. "They keep people from parking on the grass well."

St Margaret's and Westgate ward county councillor Inga Lockington says she has also been badgering the council about replacing trees locally. 

Anna Caston, Edward Bastow, Shiela Duerden, Sandra Griffiths, Ann Woodings, Stella Day, Paul Kingham

Anna Caston, Edward Bastow, Shiela Duerden, Sandra Griffiths, Ann Woodings, Stella Day, Paul Kingham and Terry Reed, residents of Westwood Avenue in Ipswich who have been told to take them down by the council. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mrs Lockington said: "Residents were really upset about receiving those threatening letters.

"Everyone is talking about the need to plant trees at the council. 

"In Ipswich, so few highways trees have been replaced."

Cllr Inga Lockington

Inga Lockington - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: "Any requests relating to changes within the highway boundary, such as planting trees, should be sent to Suffolk County Council before any work takes place.

"A number of factors must be considered when planting trees, such as; public safety, proximity to the road, verge widths, types of tree, root protection and parking - on this occasion, this has not happened. We will work with residents to further understand their concerns.

One of the new trees on Westwood Avenue in Ipswich which was planted by local residents to replace t

One of the new trees on Westwood Avenue in Ipswich, which was planted by local residents to replace the old ones. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"In the next few weeks, cabinet member for Ipswich operational highways, councillor Paul West will be discussing the biodiversity policy development panel findings, which details ways in which biodiversity can be increased on highways verges."

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