Fringe Box



Trees Behind Rodboro Buildings Are Saved After Council Review

Published on: 27 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 27 Sep, 2020

By Hugh Coakley

Objectors are delighted to hear that a Guildford Borough Council proposal to sacrifice two mature trees for a new rubbish bin store behind the Rodboro Buildings, off Bridge Street, has been withdrawn.

The 18m high Italian alder tree was to be cut down in plans by Guildford Borough Council but now has a reprieve.

Jonathan Mitchell, one of the 35 objectors to the controversial plan, said: “From what I’ve heard this was due to the strong public reaction to the plan, much helped by publicity in The Guildford Dragon NEWS. Thank you all!

“Objections were particularly focused on the threat to the 18m Italian alder. I look forward to a revised plan for the area which will retain the existing trees, particularly the impressive alder.”

Cllr Maddy Redpath.

Cllr Maddie Redpath (R4GV, Holy Trinity) said: “As a ward member for the site, I am glad that the public have been heard and this application has been withdrawn.

“I agree that there is some illegal activity in this area, however I refuse to believe that removing the tree is the answer and confident that the council can produce plans where the tree is retained while still reducing antisocial behaviour.”

“We must learn to co-exist with nature or else we will be left with a concrete jungle of a town centre.”

The Guildford Dragon NEWS had reported in July 2020 on the council’s proposal to remove the trees at the back of the Rodboro Buildings. The intention of the proposal was to improve the crime problem area and construct a new loading bay and a fenced-in rubbish bin store. The police had expressed support for the plan.

18m Italian alder tree with the rubbish bins which were to be contained in an enclosed bin store.

The council’s own arboricultural survey had concluded that “concerted effort” should be made to retain the 18m alder tree and objectors were not convinced that improving safety and accessibility meant that the trees had to go.

Comments objecting to the proposal included: “I strongly object to removing an established tree for a bin store and because revolting people urinate against it. The perpetrators should be punished, not the tree!”

Another said: “We are in a climate emergency and trees are our lungs. Another solution must be found.”

Cllr Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas) said: “We have withdrawn the application 20/P/00535 and plan to submit a new application at a later date. The submitted application raised issues and we need time to look again at the design whilst also ensuring residents, businesses and visitors can use the area safely.

“We know the area is often used as a urinal at night time and the police and the Street Angels teams are aware that drug dealing and antisocial behaviour happens there, all of which will need addressing.”

The 18m alder tree has been saved from being cut down.

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Responses to Trees Behind Rodboro Buildings Are Saved After Council Review

  1. Julia Shaw Reply

    September 28, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Very pleased to hear the trees won’t be cut down. I’m looking forward to hearing the council’s new plans.

  2. Brian Matthews Reply

    September 29, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    I thought this site would be part of Friary & St Nicolas or even Onslow ward. I am surprised to see that it is part of Holy Trinity ward.

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