Anger as landmark Wallington tree gets the chop

The tree, in Waterside Gardens, Wallington, which has been cut down
The tree, in Waterside Gardens, Wallington, which has been cut down
From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
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RESIDENTS have been left surprised after discovering a ‘landmark’ tree on their road was cut down without any warning.

The tree, in Waterside Gardens, Wallington, was seen by a resident last week being prepared for the chop, even though nobody had been told about the plan.

All trees have a finite life, that’s what people need to realise. But perhaps it would have been useful to have told people prior to cutting it down.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council

It is believed that the London plane tree was around before the houses on the road were built.

Waterside Gardens resident, Dave Brown, said: ‘I was surprised to see the tree apparently in the process of being felled when I arrived home from work on Monday.

‘On Tuesday I spoke to Hampshire County Council and apparently the tree is a safety risk and has to come down. I haven’t got a problem with that, of course, but it might have been nice to have been told.

‘I gather the people who live nearest the tree were put in the picture but we live a bit further down the street and I don’t think we were included.

‘It was quite a landmark and will be much missed.’

According to a source, the county council ‘carried out an investigation’, with the result being the whole tree has to go.

‘There may not have been time to let residents know that it has to be cut down if it was a danger,’ said Fareham Borough Council’s executive member for streetscene, Councillor Tiffany Harper.

‘How quickly residents around the tree are told about the felling of a tree completely depends on the reasons why it has to be cut down in the first place.’

Cllr Sean Woodward, who is leader of Fareham Borough Council and also a county councillor, sympathised with the concerns but said trees are removed where they pose a hazard.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘The county council will only remove trees where they are dead, diseased or dangerous. If it’s got to come down, it’s got to come down.

‘It’s sad when a tree like this has to be removed.

‘All trees have a finite life, that’s what people need to realise. But perhaps it would have been useful to have told people prior to cutting it down.’

When contacted by The News, a spokesman for Hampshire County Council was not available to comment.