The Robinia Tree at West House was inspected in March this year

The Robinia Tree at Penarth Town Council’s HQ was inspected in March this year

A number of trees in the town which come under the direct control of Penarth Town Council are to be felled – or subjected to “treeworks” – under the latest advice from the council’s specialist tree consultants.

Amongst trees listed for felling and grinding down to ground level include the prominent Robinia tree at the front of Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House which has had a number of previous narrow escapes and has a Tree Protection Order on it.

The headquartyers of Penarth Town Council at West House iin Stnawell Road . As soon as the Christmas Lights went on there - they fused the entire building

The Robinia tree outside Penarth Town Council at West House in Stanwell Road is normally decorated with Christmas Lights during December and January . Last year as soon as the Christmas Lights went on  – they fused the entire building .

The Robinia’s full name is   “Robinia pseudoacacia” and –  despite appearances to the contrary – is not rated as a proper tree. Its roots are apparently affecting the council HQ’s drains – so the council has now decided to get the Tree Preservation Order  – and the tree itself – removed.

Other trees to be included in the cull are 9 of the 360 growing in Penarth Cemetery – some of which a reported to be becoming “moribund with low vigour”.

In the Kymin grounds 4 trees are to be felled with  7 others listed to be reduced to “coppice stumps”.

The cost of removing this collapsed tree growing on the St Augustine's "triangle" was over £1,000

The cost of removing this collapsed tree at the St Agustine’s Triangle –  which came down of its own accord onto Church Place North  last year –  was over £1,000

Further treeworks are to be carried out at “St Augustine’s Triangle”  – an island of greenery bounded by St Augustine’s Road, St Augustine’s Crescent and Church Place North. It was here that  part of a 50-foot fir tree unexpectedly collapsed onto the road in July last year last year  – narrowly missing a parked car.

At St Augustine’s Triangle – 3 trees have been marked (with yellow paint-dots) for felling out of the 72 trees at the site. The total budget for Penarth Town Council tree-works  for this year is £7,350.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) was advised by his wife Cllr Rhiannon Birch that "Betula Pendula" is Latin for "Birch Tree"

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) was informed by his wife – Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) ,  that “Betula Pendula” is the Latin name for a Birch tree.

In a discussion on the treeworks in Penarth Town Council’s Leisure and Amenities Committee Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) noted that the “technical names” for all the trees in the report were in Latin and it was a bit difficult therefore for Londoners like himself to identify, from the list, the species of trees which were marked for felling .

There was laughter when committee chair Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell)  – to whom Cllr Wilson is married – explained that  “Betula Pendula” is the Latin name for “Birch”.


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  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    Was there a discussion on when the felled trees would be replaced? Seems consultants are keen on felling trees at great expense. So was there any discussion about replacing these trees …. as labours war on trees continues.

    • newsnet says:

      The council says that if it does succeed in getting the Tree Preservation Order lifted for the Robinia Tree at West House , the Robinia would be replaced with “an alternative species more in keeping with the formal garden” . On the other locations, the council says “subject to the cost of relevant works, consideration will be given to replacement planting at appropriate locations”.

  2. Jan Harding says:

    If Cllr Wilson is the husband/partner of Cllr Birch and Cllr Birch’s mother is a Cllr does that mean they have three votes on everything that needs a yes or no in Penarth? e.g. three people of the same family?

    • newsnet says:

      Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) is married to Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) – who is the daughter of Cllr Janice Birch (Labour Stanwell). All three are members of Penarth Town Council and also of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
      All three also serve together on Penarth Town Council’s Planning Committee and have also served together on the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Planning Committee. Cllr Janice Birch stepped down from the Vale Planning Committee earlier this year but remains a member of the Penarth Town Council Planning Committee with her daughter and her son-in-law.

    • Frank Evans says:

      Labour do like to have dynasties, it stops them arguing over breakfast. Trouble is they have no one to give them a reality check.

  3. Paul says:

    And people wonder why nothing ever changes in Wales., when will people realise that all political parties are the same and look after their own

  4. Anne Greagsby says:

    Being a Birch dynasty you would think they would show some empathy for trees but no….maybe only Birches?

  5. :)) they’re only trees

  6. Andrew Worsley says:

    I love the Councils answer to the question about replacing trees that are cut down which was a convoluted , gobbledegook type , rambling,
    non- committed way of saying NO.

  7. Andrew Worsley says:

    Carol is your comment serious ?

  8. Louise says:

    Does the newly formed Penarth Tree Forum have a say in any of these tree felling plans?

  9. Max Wallis says:

    The Vale Council can require ordinary mortals to replace trees felled with TPOs or in the Conservation Area. “subject to cost” is not a permitted excuse. So why does the Town Council expect to get away with it, instead of saying – of course they’ll replace any TPO trees and any trees that affect the conservation area or settings of listed buildings, with 12-15ft standards? The Council will tell Headlands School that they must replace the large prominent tree they’ve just cut down (sycamore, died last winter) in front of the listed Hotel/School building, so have to uphold policy themselves.

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