Families’ fury as trees on street get the chop

by | Jul 8, 2015 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Families have accused the city council of damaging the beauty of their street – after six cherry blossom trees were chopped down without warning.

Workers cut down the trees in Foley Road, Longton, after tests highlighted fungal decay.

It was also claimed that one of the trees was beginning to subside towards a house.

But shocked neighbours have been left furious after the ‘gorgeous’ trees were cut down.

Mother-of-two Denise Deakin, aged 46, who has a 15-year-old son, Josiah, and a 19-year-old son, Zak, said: “This is our community, and as a resident, I have a right to know what’s going on straight outside my house.

“The children have grown up with the trees. I remember Zak taking pictures into his nursery and talking about the trees and their colours.

“People have said they love driving down our street in the spring. When the blossom was there, you knew summer was round the corner – now all I can see is a big lamppost.”

Husband Chris Deakin, aged 48, added: “The frustration is there was no contact or consultation that this was happening. If someone had said these trees needed to go, and that they were unsafe, and a report had been produced showing the trees were dangerous, it would have been fine.

“It was a pleasure to drive down the road and I was angry and upset they had taken them out without warning.”

Josiah said: “I liked the trees in front of the house. They’ve been there since I was born.”

Neighbour Maureen Simpkin, who has lived in Foley Road for 44 years, branded the authority’s action ‘disgusting’.

She added: “The trees have always looked lovely. Foley Road is a rat-run into Blurton and buses go along there, and I have already noticed a big difference in the sound because the trees helped to block that sound out a bit.”

Council officials chopped the trees down following an inspection.

Carol Gibbs, the council’s strategic manager for environment, said: “It was discovered the bases of some of the trees were suffering from fungal decay, while others were showing signs of being in the early stages of the problem.

“One tree had started to subside towards a property with the potential to cause serious damage so we had no option but to take immediate action.

“We only cut down trees as a last resort, and our main priority has to be the safety of the public. We will be replacing the trees later in the year and will consult with the local residents ahead of this.”