Northumberland County Council has responded to criticism over the felling of trees overlooking the site of the new Morpeth First School to the east, which have stood for decades.
A Merley Gate resident said in their letter to the Herald earlier this month that the trees were ‘hacked down on the grounds of health and safety’ and these reasons were ‘never properly anticipated when the original plans were drawn up’.
A county council spokesman said: “We always understand concerns about the loss of trees. However, as the correspondent is aware, this section of trees was identified to be removed as part of the planning permission.
“The council did review this before their removal and identified a number to be kept if possible. However, on safety grounds and advice from the arboricultural team, it was necessary to remove these trees as they would have become vulnerable to instability.
“This work was agreed through the planning process. An ecologist reviewed the trees and confirmed that none of those scheduled to be removed had a risk of supporting roosting bats.
“We are considering options for future planting on the site, in conjunction with the design and landscape team.”