Following years of monitoring and a recent risk assessment, one of the mature London plane trees on Lymington Road adjacent to the Town Hall Car Park, has been identified as posing an unacceptable risk to the public and will be removed.

A decay fungus, has been found at the base of the tree, which has now caused significant enough decay to warrant the removal of the tree.

Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, Councillor Mike Morey said: “The decision to remove one of the original Victorian plantings from such a prominent location in the town centre has not been taken lightly. However owing to the high use of the immediately adjacent areas, retention of the tree is not sustainable”.

Following further investigation works and a recent survey, the Monterey Pine Tree located adjacent to the road side at Coombe Valley Park has also been identified as hosting a decay funghi. Given the likely severity of the decay discovered and the location of the tree, the decision has again been made to remove the tree.

Councillor Mike Morey added: “I can assure you that these decisions are not made lightly. With trees and tree planting forming part of our measures to help combat climate change, retention of large canopy trees within our urban environment is vital. However in both of these cases, the decision to remove the trees is based purely on the risk posed to the public and surrounding property.”

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