Plans have been submitted to prune and fell trees on land at Deiniol Road in Bangor, where controversial plans for a Starbucks Drive-Thru Coffee Shop were previously rejected.
The development, which was planned on land at the junction of Deiniol Road and Sackville Road, faced considerable opposition from Bangor City Council, local residents and Bangor Civic Society. An online petition against the development attracted over 1,000 signatures.
Among the concerns were the plans to fell several trees, which are currently protected by a preservation order and the location of the site which adjacent to already busy roundabout.
The plans were rejected by councillors in December 2017, who expressed concern over traffic levels, road safety, lack of parking, loss of green space and the destruction of the mature trees.
The trees on the site are protected by a Gwynedd Council Tree Preservation Order (TPO) and permission is required from the local planning authority (LPA) to fell or prune any trees protected by the TPO.
A survey of trees at the site in September 2018, assessed 21 individual trees and one group of trees. The survey found five trees are considered to be of moderate quality and value, ten trees and one group are considered to be of low quality and value and six trees are considered to be unsuitable for retention.
During the public consultation for the planning application, it was queried whether the poplar trees are examples of the native black poplar (Populus nigra). This was considered during the survey but it is concluded that these trees are hybrid poplars as they are relatively upright in form, and lack the leaning stems and swept down branches that are typical of the native species.
Three of the poplar trees have been identified as ‘unsuitable for retention‘. The survey found these trees have a low crown density and have suffered some crown dieback. The report added: “It is very unlikely that there will be any reverse in this decline in their condition, and they are likely to have a safe and useful life expectancy of less than ten years. They are large trees located close to and overhanging a busy road and it would not be appropriate to retain them if the site was redeveloped when they are likely to suffer further stress.”
The tree survey contains recommendation for tree felling and pruning a number of trees, including a poplar tree that contains a large branch which overhangs the road. This branch has a longitudinal crack and is at high risk of collapse, according to the report, and it is recommended that the entire tree is felled, subject to consent by the LPA.
The application includes pruning and felling a number of trees at the site, but that consent is not being sought to fell the poplar trees in this application.
In the original planning application for the site it was noted that “The existing site has numerous trees within its boundaries, as such it is inevitable that some will be lost as part of the development. The layout has been designed however to retain the most significant trees on the site; most notably around the site perimeters.”
According to Starbucks, the development would have created around 15 full time jobs in Bangor.
The full tree survey report can be read here: