St Helens Councilors decide to fell a ‘diseased’ tree

A “time sensitive” motion proposing the removal of the cherry tree in front of the Rams Head Hotel site on Earle Street was presented to the Planning Committee at its meeting on Tuesday.

What did the planning committee say?

The members agreed with the recommendation “not to impose any tree protection” on the tree suffering from honey fungus and therefore to allow the tree felling work.

The site forms part of the assumed footpath adjacent to the Rams Head Hotel on the corner of Earle Street and Market Street – within the Earlestown Conservation Area.

Committee chair Cllr Derek Long described the motion as “time sensitive”.

He said: “It’s a planning application that the council has for its own stock and council estate, but it’s time sensitive when it comes to an intervention in the tree that has to happen before the nesting season basically.”

Will it be replaced by a new tree?

Cllr Richard McCauley, cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said he was certain the council was following a “two for one” policy – with two trees replacing the loss of one tree.

It was subsequently confirmed that two trees would be planted in a different location.

Cllr Anne McCormack said: “This is one of the worst diseases that can affect trees and cherry trees are absolutely beautiful because they herald spring and summer and make everyone feel good after a really bad winter.

“It’s a shame to see it go, but here we go.”

A report to the committee said that the loss of this tree is not expected to significantly affect the character and appearance of the sanctuary.

“Also, the tree’s roots lift the pavers around the base of the trunk, which can create a tripping hazard for pedestrians,” he added.

“The tree suffers from honey fungus and the loss of this tree will not significantly affect the character and appearance of the Earlestown Conservation Area.”

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