Continued concerns over tree felling at County Hall site

Felling of trees at County Hall in Morpeth
 Picture by Jane Coltman
Felling of trees at County Hall in Morpeth Picture by Jane Coltman

The felling of trees at the County Hall site continues to attract criticism.

Coun Joan Tebbutt, chairman of Morpeth Town Council’s planning and transport committee, said: “This outrageous action by the County Council has been taken without informing local councillors or residents, without obtaining the proper licence and before planning permission has been granted for any of the applications for the site.

“The whole sorry saga represents a complete disregard for the community of Morpeth.”

A county council spokesman explained that the preparatory work would enable quicker progress on the scheme for a new Morpeth First School if it was approved.

Meanwhile, Conservative Party chairman, Sir Patrick McLoughlin, who was at the site for the launch of the party’s local manifesto last week, said: “I cannot fathom why the Labour-run council has decided to cut down these beautiful and well-established trees, especially as it seems they have not had proper permissions to do so.”

Last week, a county council spokesman said: “The legal advice we have received is that the work done on the trees does not require a licence from the Forestry Commission.”

However, the Forestry Commission said it had advised the council not to fell any more trees while it investigates whether there has been a breach of felling licence regulations.