TREES: Take a firm line on protection

The way Tree Protection Orders have been enforced has been a source of puzzlement for Morpeth residents for a decade or three as trees with an historical and aesthetic value have been, from time to time, arbitrarily cut down with little fuss.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 9:01 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 9:01 am

All right, perhaps there has been a cursory belated planning application.

It was a surprise to discover recently that there are legal precedents for local authorities to take action under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seek financial compensation from people who have removed a protected tree when doing so has enhanced the value of the owner’s property.

The local authority has taken legal action for a reason or three over the years.

To take a firm line on tree protection would have a sound environmental logic so it maybe something to look at as old established trees are rarely well replaced.

Over recent years I’ve heard a number of people I know who have worked at St George’s Hospital talk about their feelings about the house building taking place there.

A number of people have mentioned their concern about not enough being done to protect the parts of the hospital site, for example the chapel has been mentioned.

When people have an emotional link to an area it doesn’t disappear as quickly as the buildings do after they are demolished.

When the history of the hospital gets written in due course, time will tell how the way the local council and the developers have handled the history of the site in their vision of its future.

I recently read a mayoral election leaflet from one of the candidates. Among the issues raised was the quality of the bus service in the county.

The regional authority has considerable impact on transport strategy to look at improving air quality and reducing congestion on the roads.

However, moving more people to use public transport instead of cars won’t be straight forward as the regularity of a local bus service varies from none to one every 20 minutes or so, depending on where you live.

If you add on the inevitable continued population growth in the county, there is an increasing need for new regular service options.

But for companies to invest in new buses and staff, they will need support, on top of confidence that people will use the services.

I would like to believe that when I reach pension age the options to use a bus will increase as there is much to see in the county.

As the new Goosehill school in Loansdean nears completion there will be a need for the generations of Morpeth people who began their school life at Goosehill to say their goodbyes to the school.

Hopefully, there won’t be too long a delay in the future development of the school site so that it doesn’t join a list of potential development areas that all leave you thinking of what was there before.

The car park at the site of the former library headquarters comes to mind, a site which brings back a memory of two every time I visit the bottle bank in The Terrace car park.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue