Vale of Glamorgan Council planning officers have now lifted a Tree Preservation Order on  the Robinia tree which the Vale Council itself had  originally planted at what is now Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House, Stanwell Road. Penarth Town Council can now go ahead and fell it

The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council has lifted a Tree Preservation  Order which – up to now – has prevented the Labour-run Penarth Town Council from felling a perfectly healthy Robinia tree in the grounds of Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House on Stanwell Road.

The decision to lift the order came in the final meeting of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning committee.

Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Cymru Dinas Powys) tried in vain at the Vale of Glamorgan planning committee to save the tree – but failed

Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Dinas Powys) told the committee  he understood “the tree is OK – it’s just that there’s defective drainage.”

“If that’s the case I would have though the priority would have been to repair the drains rather than chop the tree down”  .

Planning Chief Marcus Goldsworthy referred Cllr Franks to an on-line report which explained the background to the issue and said if members had any further questions they should “write in with their questions” .

This glib response wasn’t good enough for Cllr Franks . He said “But this is an agenda item before us tonight – and, although hope springs eternal,  we might not be here in the future. I think the committee should have it explained why problems with the drains result in a fine tree being chopped down” .

Unfortunately for the Vale Council, the professional arborists couldn’t find anything wrong with the Robinia tree

In the chair Cllr Fred Johnson – presiding over his final planning meeting before retirement – said  trees undermined drains because “trees keep growing believe it or not”.

The Vale Planning Department said the decision was a “delegated one” and had already been taken. The planning report was just “for noting”.

Cllr Peter King (Labour Cornerswell) said he had asked the officer why the tree was to be felled. He was told the tree was causing “heave and disruption to the drains” and it would be impossible to fix the drains and keep the tree.

Cllr Franks said he was not satisfied with the decision but he did not think it was possible to get any further . The Robinia tree’s fate has now been sealed.

The Robinia Tree was planted in 1973 by the Vale of Glamorgan Council – making the Vale Council responsible for meeting the cost of all the drainage damage that it’s caused. (Photo Mrs S Benjamin)

The irony is that the rogue Robinia tree was originally planted outside West House by the Vale of Glamorgan Council itself, back in the days when it was a borough council.

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  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    There is an election on. A new town council could reverse that decision.

  2. BigPooPski says:

    Strange when you think we live in a more environmentally friendly age where we should be saving the planet not cutting down healthy trees, Maybe the labour council just hate’s trees or just hate’s Penarth or both.

  3. Max Wallis says:

    The officer report does not say give the excuses like heave etc. Tree-roots entering the drain joint require renewal of the drain with modern plastic pipes which solve that problem. The officer report on file is so weak as to imply a political decision:
    Land at West House, Stanwell Road, Penarth Fell Robinia in Penarth Conservation Area
    “The application tree is located within the front garden of the Penarth Town Council offices. The tree preservation order covering the tree was made in 2014 after an assessment of the trees visual amenity value culminated in a high score.
    The current application looks to fell the tree due to damage to the drains which has been supported with a drain survey and a CCTV report which shows extensive damage within some parts of the drain. (Extracts of dvd shown below).
    Whilst the tree was deemed to have significant visual amenity value in 2014, and still does, the report did suggest its removal could be re visited at a later date. In light of the evidence, drain damage and the other trees at the site and within the immediate streetscene which contribute to the streetscene, the impact on the visual amenity of the area is considered to be acceptable subject to a condition relating to a replacement tree planting condition to being imposed.”

    Which of the candidates for the Town Council will promise to try and reverse Labour’s anti-tree position?

  4. Blue says:

    Okay Max and Anne, you believe that Labour has an “anti-tree policy.” Please explain the what you perceive to be the ideological/political/economic basis of this supposed policy.

    Once you’ve done that please explain why, if you believe Labour has an “anti-tree policy”, they haven’t attacked and destroyed more of the thousands of trees lining Penarth’s roads and growing in the town’s parks. Surely an “anti-tree policy” would have resulted in Penarth being totally denuded of trees given the amount of time that they’ve been in power.

    Having worked in the construction/utilities sector myself I can tell you, Max, that simply replacing damaged ducting with plastic ducting will not solve the problem, so I’m afraid that you are talking out of your esteemed academic hat in this regard.

    • Mgg says:

      I keep hearing this MR Wallis is some esteemed academic. I only ever see him skewing facts to fit his own agenda. OHexcuse me that is indeed the description of an academic.

      • Anne Greagsby says:

        Shall we compare your background to Max Wallis? Unemployed. What qualifications have you to chair the secret ‘momentum’/future projects group? Why are you wrecking Westhouse garden with pink, yellow and purple chair legs? The shrubs have been chainsawed to death! Who would want their wedding pictures taken there now?

  5. Esarjay says:

    It appears that the Labour controlled VoG council have a ‘secret’ pact with themselves, not to be disclosed to electorate, to fell trees in Penarth. I have been told it’s cheaper to fell than to maintain and that Penarth, if this carries on, will be poorer as a result.

  6. Mgg says:

    And that ladies and gentlemen demonstrates the quality of debate from a prospective councillor. Quite pathetic isn’t it really?

  7. Mgg says:

    For someone who supports women’s rights AG abuses her position as a woman.,If anyone else but a woman made such a hostile comment as being unemployed, which I am not, means you are in some way inferior they would be heading for a slap.

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