Telford couple's plea to cut down 130-year-old yew tree rejected

A plea from grandparents for permission to cut down a 130-year-old tree in their garden because of fears its poisonous fruit could be eaten by their grandchildren and pets, has been thrown out by planners.

Telford couple's plea to cut down 130-year-old yew tree rejected

David and Julia Poole say their back garden, in Weavers Rise, Ketley Bank, is unsafe for their four grandchildren to use between June and December because of the amount of poisonous berries shedded by the yew tree. They asked Telford & Wrekin Council for permission to cut down the tree – which has been subject of a preservation order for 25 years.

But last night, planners said the tree must stay and would have to be maintained.

Speaking after the meeting, at the Whitehouse Hotel in Wellington, Mr Poole, 61, said he was not happy with the decision.

"I do not feel like they addressed the situation properly," he said. He had offered to replace the tree with one that did not produce fruit.

Mr Poole also said he had asked to speak at the meeting, but his name had not been on the list. Instead, Oakengates Town Councillor Steve Reynolds spoke on behalf of Mr Poole. He told the committee: "These berries are very toxic to animals and the applicant owns a dog which is restricted to the garden due to the berries. Other animals in the area have also suffered due to the berries."

Telford & Wrekin Councillor, Nigel Dugmore, said: "The tree is on private property and I wouldn't normally support the loss of a healthy tree, but I am going to support the applicant."

But Councillor Jayne Greenway said that she could not agree with her colleague.

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