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CAUSING OUTRAGE: Trees felled in Linthorpe

CAUSING OUTRAGE: Trees felled in Linthorpe

The former Northern School of Art campus whee trees have been felled, Image: Terry Blackburn/Teesside Live

Trees have been felled in Linthorpe causing outrage amongst members of the community.

Contractors were spotted cutting down trees at the former Northern School of Art campus on Green Lane earlier this week.

The building is not in the Linthorpe Conservation Area though it is right on the edge.

Eileen Liggitt, who lives across the road, feels let down while Councillor Philippa Storey has said it is soul destroying watching the trees being destroyed.

Ms Liggitt said: “I feel that we’ve been let down by the Council who could have protected those trees.

“The college isn’t pretty but was hidden by the beautiful variety of trees that were admired by so many. The willow, for example, the blossom trees. I for one never noticed the building.”

“Middlesbrough doesn’t have much heritage left and the once leafy Linthorpe has now, in one fell swoop, lost many more leaves. I, and others I know, are utterly devastated.

“I really can’t forgive this. It’s all very well planting trees but these 100-year-old ones are being felled without any discussion.

“As a former student of the art college and living across the road for 36 years, this has made me so sad. I know so many feel the same.”

Philippa Storey

Linthorpe Labour councillor Philippa Storey at the former Northern School of Art campus, Image: Terry Blackburn/Teesside Live

Cllr Storey, the Labour member for Linthorpe, said that she ran down to the site when she was told of the trees coming down.

She spoke to the contractors who had a map that showed the trees with tree preservation orders (TPOs) on them meaning they could not be chopped down.

Cllr Storey added: “They said very specifically we won’t be touching those trees with TPOs on, other than trimming the branches back on one because the branches were overhanging the path and were quite dangerous.

“There was a willow tree that was cut down as it had split down the middle and was dangerous, there were two dead trees that they were taking out but if they took other trees out, providing they didn’t have a tree preservation order on them, unfortunately, because it’s their land they can do that.

“It’s shocking, it’s soul-destroying to watch. We need more trees, not less.”

However, even though it is not council land, Cllr Storey said that the local authority will be sending someone round to inspect the trees to make sure only the correct ones had been felled.

She added: “I would absolutely love it if the Council had more control over which trees were being cut down and which trees couldn’t be cut down.

“To be honest I think there needs to be an overhaul of how tree preservation orders are issued.

“There should be a lot more trees with TPOs on them, more trees should be protected.

“That’s the only way the Council can do it legally and there needs to be sea change at national government level so trees can be protected more easily.”

In a post on Facebook, the councillor said that the sale for the site had gone through on Tuesday, November 2, though it is not known who the new owners are yet.

At the start of last year, Mayor Andy Preston revealed that the council had received £500,000 from the Forestry Commission to plant more trees across Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough Council has been contacted for comment.

 

Words: Emily Craigie, Local Democracy Reporter


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