…By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
A council’s decision to remove trees in Plymouth city center has sparked controversy, as locals question the necessity of the action.
Last month, Plymouth City Council cut down 110 trees, and now they have conducted another round of tree removal on Plymouth Hoe due to concerns of anti-social behavior.
Locals Demand Preservation of Trees:
Residents are expressing their discontent with the council’s decision, demanding that the trees be left untouched.
Many are surprised and upset, criticizing the council for their tree-cutting spree.
One resident expressed disbelief and urged the council to leave the trees alone, while another questioned the council’s obsession with cutting down trees.
Concerns were raised about addressing the root causes of antisocial behavior instead of resorting to tree removal.
Skepticism and Humor among Residents:
Some residents expressed skepticism regarding the council’s justifications, suggesting that cutting down trees might actually make the illicit activities more visible.
Others accused the council of using any excuse to cut down trees and labeled it as environmental terrorism.
Council Responds to Anti-Social Behavior:
A spokesperson for the council addressed the issue, stating that the area around the Belvedere shelter on Plymouth Hoe had experienced a rise in anti-social behavior.
The council had received regular reports of cleaning up sex and drug paraphernalia in the area.
With the aim of making the space more welcoming and safe for residents and visitors, the council included the tree removal as part of their maintenance program and based on community feedback.
Efforts for Improvement and Biodiversity:
The council clarified that they had already undertaken improvement works on two other shelters in the past, which had received positive feedback.
In the most recent tree removal on April 23, large shrubs and cabbage palms were removed.
The council assured that they would replace the trees with plantings that promote biodiversity and provide habitats for bees and insects.
Apology and Future Community Engagement:
Although the council had consulted with an ecologist, they acknowledged their oversight in not keeping the Hoe Neighbourhood Forum updated on the work.
They apologized for the lack of communication and emphasized that community engagement would be a priority moving forward.
Plymouth City Council’s decision to remove trees in the city center and Plymouth Hoe has generated backlash from local residents.
While the council cites concerns of anti-social behavior, residents express their dissatisfaction and question the effectiveness of tree removal in addressing the root causes.
The council, on the other hand, emphasizes their aim to create a safer environment and promises to engage with the community in future decision-making processes.
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