Preservation orders placed on St Albans city-centre trees

FIVE mature trees in central St Albans have been saved for posterity despite a massive complex planned for the site. Tree preservation orders (TPOs) have been placed upon a birch and a copper beech on Bricket Road and two London planes and a sweet gum in

FIVE mature trees in central St Albans have been saved for posterity despite a massive complex planned for the site.

Tree preservation orders (TPOs) have been placed upon a birch and a copper beech on Bricket Road and two London planes and a sweet gum in the car park on the corner of Victoria Street and Bricket Road.

Antringham Verulamium and Travelodge's joint application for the hotel and leisure complex at the Hertfordshire House site in Bricket Road was resubmitted recently.

The proposal includes an 87-bedroom Travelodge hotel, 46 residential apartments and leisure and retail facilities along with 12,600 square feet of office space.


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The office space could potentially house the police who will be looking for new accommodation when their current station in Victoria Street is sold for redevelopment.

The police wrote to St Albans District Council's central planning committee objecting to the TPOs claiming they might affect the viability of any proposals to replace the police station.

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It said: "The loss of the trees would not have a damaging impact upon the landscape due to the presence of other mature trees and scope for replacement planting."

But the council's trees officer Andrew Branch insisted that TPOs highlight the trees' visual importance to the area and ensures they are properly considered during the planning process.

Civic Society chairman Peter Trevelyan mounted a spirited defence in favour of the TPOs being placed on the trees saying: "I speak for the trees for they have no tongues."

Antringham Developments employed their own expert Chris Rose who also spoke at the meeting claiming it would be inappropriate to place TPOs on the copper beech and the sweet gum trees due to their poor state. He also claimed that one of the other trees was possibly diseased and that all of the trees were adequately protected anyway because they are in the Conservation Area.

The councillors were evenly divided on Tuesday night but the chairman used his casting vote in favour of placing the tree preservation orders.

No-one from Antringham Developments was available to comment after the meeting.

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