Consultation starts today on a policy providing information and guidance about how the Borough Council of Wellingborough manages the trees it is responsible for.
The council is inviting comments on its draft tree policy until 20 June 2017, which also outlines emergency works to privately owned trees, preservation orders, planting, high hedges, surveys and trees on development sites.
As a tree owner, the council has a responsibility to make sure that its trees are appropriately managed and do not pose a danger to public or property. It also works to protect trees growing in conservation areas and trees that are considered to have a high amenity value.
The council is responsible for an estimated 76,000 trees growing in public spaces including: parks, gardens, woodland, cemeteries, churchyards, industrial estates and amenity areas. 2,500 of these trees are located on Northamptonshire County Council owned highways in Wellingborough and Finedon.
Wellingborough Norse maintains these trees on behalf of the council and employs an Arboricultural Officer to give specialist advice. The council also employs a Landscape Officer within the planning team who deals with tree preservation orders, trees in conservation areas and trees on development sites.
A council spokesperson said: “We have drafted this policy in response to a number of comments about trees in the borough. Trees play a very important role in the environment, but can raise concerns if they are not managed properly.
“Unfortunately some trees do need to be removed, not just when diseased, but also for road junction improvements and safety, as is the case with the recent removal works on the Midland Road, where the trees reduced vehicle visibility.
“Our planning team work with developers to ensure the inclusion of suitable landscaping schemes and additional tree planting on new sites where possible and this is outlined in the policy.”
The plan showing the junction works at Midland Road and Senwick Road can be viewed here. The removed trees are indicated by the grey circles and the black dotted lines running through them show how they affected the junction visibility.
The Tree Policy is available to view online at: http://www.wellingborough.gov.uk/downloads/file/7678/bcw_tree_policy_may_2017 A hard copy is also available at Swanspool House in Doddington Road and Wellingborough library in Pebble Lane. The consultation runs until Tuesday 20 June at 5pm.