Council committee to decide the fate of a Portsmouth tree as part of a new 'open' policy
THE fate of a protected tree in Portsmouth will be up for public discussion as part of new policy 'involve residents.'
Council plans to cut down a 'decaying' poplar tree in Milton will be heard at a planning committee meeting next week, giving residents the chance to voice any concerns they might have.
The tree, which is part of a row of poplars along Furze Road by the Portsmouth university campus, is due to be felled after a certain type of fungi that causes decay was found growing on it.
In a report prepared by Portsmouth City Council it said: 'Historically the failure of a similar Lombardy poplar on 17 November 2015 crushed a bus shelter and caused the temporary closure of the bus lane on Furze Lane and the felling of other poplars due to decay suggests that these have reached the end of their lives.'
If approved a replacement hornbeam or broad-leaved lime tree will be planted in the same space within a year.
Milton councillor Ben Dowling asked that the case be heard at a public meeting. He said: 'Milton residents have seen lots of trees felled in recent years. So any application to fell a tree is of concern to local people.
'There has been an improvement in communication since and residents more aware of what's going on which also makes them want to get more involved which is good.'
It comes after councillors approved new policy requiring notices to be put on any trees due to be felled during a meeting in March this year.
Kimberly Barrett, the founder of campaign group Keep Milton Green, believed this new approach was a step in the right direction. 'I am pleased that because of the changes the council's made the public will be able to see the reasons why a felling might occur,' she said.
'I understand why residents have concerns because in the past there have been applications to fell trees where the trees have been healthy.'
She added: 'And I can understand why this tree needs to be replaced but hopefully it will be replaced with a good sized tree rather than a sapling.'
The planning committee meeting is on Wednesday, August 14.