The Constable of St Peter Port has explained why the tree at Trinity Square might have to be felled saying unless there are any "sensible ways" of sorting out the problems it's causing there might not be anything else they can do.
The tree came under the spotlight last week when its removal was first suggested, and a number of people, including the group Guernsey Trees for Life, objected.
Dennis Le Moignan has now issued a statement on behalf of the St Peter Port Constables and Douzaine:
"We are pro-trees and although we have needed to remove some before, for instance the Upland Road pines, we have ordered replacements which will be planted shortly. Unless someone can come up with sensible ways to sort out the pump and the road problems, we are suggesting removal of the offending tree and replanting another more suitable tree further away from the road edge. This is an opportunity to plant an allergy friendly tree which will look prettier, attract more birds and insects than the London Plane and be better for people’s health. The States have a ‘Duty of Care’ to do this.
"The water pump is a listed monument placed on the triangle before the trees were planted. Damage has been caused to its granite surround by the States owned tree which is not on the protected list. We have been in negotiation with Agriculture and Land Management for over eighteen months but have continually run up against a brick wall. It has been suggested by many people that we replace the cracked and dislodged granite slabs with thinner ones and raise the surround to clear the offending root. This could be done, but the tree is still growing and could cause the same problem again.
"We have a duty to our parishioners to use their money in the best possible way, therefore we will expect the States to pay for any cost involved as something they own has damaged our property.
"As for the surface water drain, it is our responsibility as Parish officials to report any damage we see done to public property (which the road is). In this case the tree root has crushed the drain, lifted some of the road surface and appears to have damaged the main drain causing it to collapse and the road surface to crack and sink.
"To repair that is going to cost many thousands of pounds and the tree root will still be there. You cannot just put an upwards or downwards bend in the drain to avoid the root, drains need to be laid in a certain way.
"If one looks at the tree opposite Trinity Church, that one has lifted the road surface which could cause a cyclist or motorcyclist to have an accident. Where do we draw the line at protecting offending trees?"
Pictured: The plane tree which may be felled at Trinity Square.
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