Shock at Chichester District Council’s ‘willy-nilly’ tree felling

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SIX poplar trees were set to be cut down yesterday – leading residents to spring into action.

Alan Mee, former chairman of the Westhampnett Road and Church Road Residents’ Association, was alerted by the sound of one of the poplar trees being cut down on the Portfield Playing Field.

“It was a shock to see one of them coming down,” he said.

“We had stressed as local residents that they were a local feature and we’re surprised the council can come willy-nilly to cut them down.”

The field is owned by the district council – and there is an outline planning application in place for 80 homes – but the residents said they had no notification of the intention to fell the trees.

Residents rushed out to protect the remaining trees in the field and before the next tree was chopped down, 
the workmen received a call from the district council to stop.

A Chichester District Council spokeswoman said: “A tree was removed because it was diseased and there were safety concerns.

“However, we are looking to remove some further trees to make more space within the cemetery and we’ll be consulting with local residents about this.”