Call for an independent inquiry into the shooting down

Contractors cut down 110 trees to make way for a £12.7m town center regeneration

Plymouth City Council is facing calls for an independent inquiry into the decisions behind the nighttime felling of 110 trees in the city centre.

The Plymouth Green Party said the shooting down was “a shameful and shocking act”.

The council had suspended the project in February for a public consultation, but council leader Richard Bingley signed an executive order on Tuesday to cut down the trees.

Plymouth City Council has been contacted for comment.

Contractors cordoned off public areas and cut down trees on Tuesday night as part of a £12.7m regeneration project before an injunction halted work.

Via Armata

Plymouth City Council said the felling was carried out at night for people’s safety

The Green Party said advisers had not had time to look into the executive decision ordered by Mr Bingley, the Conservative leader.

The Greens called for “an independent inquiry into the decision-making process behind the logging”.

Green Group leader Ian Poyser, Plympton Chaddlewood councillor, said: “This type of ecological vandalism must not be repeated.”

Armada Way after tree felling

What Armada Way looks like after the trees are felled

Campaign group Save the Trees of Armada Way (Straw) said it had applied for a judicial review of the decision to cut down the trees.

Ali White, from Straw, said: “We need to figure out what went wrong, it shouldn’t be that easy for councils to do that.”

Tuesday night’s felling is part of a redevelopment plan for the city center which, according to the local authority, will involve the planting of 169 new trees.

The council’s chief assistant executive, Giles Perritt, previously said that although the council knew “some people weren’t going to be happy”, it had to “go ahead with this scheme”.

The council said the downing, which began at around 20:30 GMT on Tuesday, took place at night “for reasons of public safety and impact on the city centre”.

Adam Cormack, head of campaigning at Woodland Trust, told BBC Radio 4’s Today show that it was “not always easy” to keep trees in a redevelopment.

“But there are some great examples around the country where mature trees are being preserved and it can have a very transformative impact on the look and experience,” she said.

“What we’re seeing here in Plymouth is what happens when the value of urban trees is undervalued.”

He said research from the University of Washington in the US has linked people’s shopping and spending habits with the presence of trees.

“This shows that people like to spend time in places where there are big mature trees and spend more money as a result,” he said.

“So the two are totally connected and in Plymouth what we want to see is the conservation of as many mature trees as possible because once a tree gets to that mature point in its life, it’s a very valuable asset to a city.”

Follow BBC News South West on Chirping, Facebook AND Instagram. Submit your story ideas to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *