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Tree saved as People Power saves the day in Frome

A campaign to save an iconic tree in Frome town centre, which was supported by thousands of Frome residents, has been successful after Mendip District Council refused plans to cut it down.

2,744 people which represents around 10% of the population of the town signed a petition objecting to the application to have the plane tree at the Kingsway Precinct cut down and campaigners say their hard work has paid off as the tree survived the latest attempt to have it felled.

The petition was handed over to Mendip District Council, who also had recommendations from Frome Town Council to reject the application.

In 2013 in the Frome Times we reported that the tree was to be felled after fears that it was causing cracks on a nearby building. But the tree was saved and awarded a Tree Preservation Order after a concerted effort by concerned Frome residents last year.

However, the company Pangmore followed this up with a recent fresh application to have it felled as they felt the tree was having an unacceptable adverse impact upon the structure of a property at Iron Gates. If accepted, this would have meant one of the last remaining trees in the town centre would be cut down. But, Mendip District Council announced last week that the application was refused and the tree is safe for now.

Campaign leader, Frome resident and author of ‘Britain’s Tree Story,’ Julian Hight said, “I am really pleased that Mendip District Council refused the application to fell.

“I was hoping to gain a few hundred signatures of support with the petition to Save the Frome Plane Tree, but 2,744 exceeded all expectations. Coupled with 80 objections to the council it really shows the strength of feeling amongst local people to retain this important green monument.

“I hope that Pangmore Developments take note of the strong message sent by the people of Frome and accept the council’s decision. There is more to a town centre than shopping – large, established trees such as the Frome Plane are environmentally and aesthetically important community assets and improve the visitor experience, and I for one feel that Frome needs more of them.

“Its felling would have been a major loss to the aesthetic quality of the town. In fact, it is one of the town’s few iconic trees.”

To view the planning application and result visit www.publicaccess.mendip.gov.uk/online-applications/centralDistribution.do?caseType=Application&keyVal=MZ4UOYKP2G000 

 

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