Shropshire Star

Trees deemed 'poor quality' set to be replaced as part of new housing development

New trees are to be planted to replace existing ones that a council says are 'poor quality' or in poor health as part of a planned housing development.

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How the flats planned for the Robert Owen House site in Newtown could look

Some 32 one-bedroom flats are being built by J Harper and Sons on the site of the former Robert Owen House in Newtown and the county council says new trees will "offset the loss to an acceptable level".

The development is being constructed by J Harper and Sons on behalf of Powys County Council, and the health of the trees has been assessed in an arboricultural report.

The council accepts that the removal of trees is an emotive subject, but a spokesperson said: "Existing trees that are poor quality or in poor health are to be removed with new trees planted which will offset the loss to an acceptable level."

The landscape management plans for the development follows the recommendations contained within the arboricultural report including the need of a strong scheme for mitigative tree planting for the loss of the existing trees.

In a statement the council said: "The tree survey identified nine individual trees and four tree groups to be removed. 34 new trees will be planted as part of the development in addition to some areas of planting of native shrubs."

Councillor Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys, said: "We understand that the removal of trees can be emotive for the local community when it comes to new developments.

"However, it is important that if they are to be removed then an appropriate planting scheme is in place to ensure that we maintain the local biodiversity to help deliver a greener Powys."

Councillor Matthew Dorrance, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Fairer Powys, said: "As part of this development, a survey was conducted and found that there were a number of trees that are poor quality or in poor health.

"We are committed to supporting a greener future for our housing estates so we be removing the existing trees and will be planting high quality, native trees and shrubs as part of this exciting development, which will meet the needs of the local community."