Up to £1m was spent redesigning a university’s new sports facility after a council row over two 150-year-old oak trees, it has arisen.
Original plans for the University of Nottingham’s £40m project were turned down by the city council because it meant felling the trees.
The sports hall, one of the biggest in the UK, has now opened after revised proposals were eventually approved.
The council had said the “veteran” trees were too valuable to lose. The planning stages in 2015 led to the clash between the council and university over the fate of the oaks.
The authority was accused of “double standards”, because it had removed about 40 trees to make way for the new tram line nearby.
But, with the oak trees it argued they were too important to the eco-systems on campus.
Dan Tilley, director of sport at the University of Nottingham, said: “The planning committee felt the trees should be preserved… we had some plans in place and offset the fact we were going to cut down the trees.
“We had to redesign the building at significant expense to make sure we kept them. It was probably about £1m in the end.”
The council has not commented on the figure.
The newly opened sports centre is three times the size of the facility it replaced and has new badminton and squash courts, as well as “state-of-the-art” gym facilities and a martial arts dojo.
The centre, named the David Ross Sports Village, is also open to members of the public.