Getting to the root of the problem

Trees that have been cut down in Halifax Road, Brighouse
Trees that have been cut down in Halifax Road, Brighouse

AN argument has erupted after a row of trees were removed along a busy Brighouse road without consultation.

Mark Yates who runs Kershaws Garden Centre in Halifax Road has confronted Calderdale Council after work started on removing the trees without informing residents and business along the road about the planned works.

But Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said the trees had to be removed on road safety grounds.

Councillors have been receiving complaints from people that have prams or wheelchairs that can’t get past the tree because of the raised pavement and it was decided to remove several.

Mark has asked if other issues have been explored. “There should be a proper consultation process and what has happened is worse because we didn’t get any information about it and we have now lost these trees.”

Mark was a key player in the fight to keep the trees in Newton Park, Hove Edge, when Calderdale Council decided to remove them. He told people at Brighouse Ward Forum that at least residents were notified about the work and they were able to have a conversation. He said it was just curtesy to inform people and that he would be making his complaint formal.

Councillor Stout said they suspected that the leaves and sap from the trees were contributory factors to the condition of the road surface which is set to be replaced within the next few months and the drainage in the area.

There has been a catalogue of non-injury accidents along the stretch of road where the trees have been removed.

“Measures to cut trees down are not taken likely,” he said. “I can understand peoples anxiety of trees being felled but it is in the public interest and safety that these trees were felled.” Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) said if there had been any alternative they would have taken it. “We can contact the highway department and tree officer if this issue comes up in the future as well as asking us for our options they will contact the premises and businesses nearby.”

There are plans to cut down trees at the Brighouse and Rastrick roundabout near Tesco’s because of damage to pavements, verges and lamp-posts. They are hoping to get in touch with the National Forestry to plant new trees if volunteers can be found.