Schoolchildren returning to Fairfield Primary School after the Easter Holidays will find something’s missing when they enter the school grounds.
Five – apparently healthy – trees, lining the entrance to the school grounds off Dryden Road, Penarth have been sawn-down during the Easter break.
Local residents have already expressed concern about the unexpected tree-felling operation in the school grounds. The lumberjacking operation has made a substantial difference to the local landscape and to the entire feel of the Fairfield School campus.
The tree-felling would have been commissioned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council as the local education authority. but it appears that many people living in the area were unaware it was to be carried out.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council had given an undertaking that it would liaise with Penarth Civic Society before carrying out tree felling in Penarth – but that only applies to pavement trees, and not to trees which are growing on school premises.
The trees had been on the Fairfield School campus as long as the school itself. Before the building was opened (in 1953) 5 flowering cherry trees, 6 Cypresses, and 2 Copper Beech trees were planted on the drive up the main entrance . In 1958 Sitka Spruce and Beech trees were also planted in the grounds as part of celebration of what was called “The Festival of Wales”.
In July last year the Vale of Glamorgan Council gave itself permission to demolish an existing two-classroom unit at Fairfield School and install a new four-classroom “demountable” unit which is to be “disability-access friendly”.
The planning application stated that ” All trees and hedges on site will remain as existing layout”.
Fairfield Primary School has not published any minutes of the meetings of its Board of Governors since October last year – when it deemed that its discussions about “New Build” at the school were “confidential” and could not be seen by the public .
There was a further meeting of governors in January this year – the minutes of which have not yet been published . It’s therefore not known whether the tree-felling has any connection with the “new build” and, if so, why it was necessary to remove the trees which are part of the school’s history.