Anger after Letchworth trees get chopped down

A LANDLORD and a council have both condemned the cutting down of three healthy trees by pub retailer Greene King.

Simon Jellis, manager of The Pelican in Middlefields, Letchworth GC, wrote to The Comet after three silver birch trees – believed to be around 40 years old – were mysteriously chopped down outside the pub last Tuesday.

Speaking this week Mr Jellis said: “It has changed the landscape totally. They were three nice big trees and it’s a shame they’ve been cut down. We didn’t know anything about it.”

In his letter Mr Jellis questioned North Herts District Council (NHDC) over the decision but the council has revealed it did not fell the trees with pub retailer Greene King, who have been leased the land, admitting responsibility.

“The trees at The Pelican were removed to clear and enhance access to the rear of the pub and to protect our building from the potential of long-term damage,” a spokesman for Greene King said.

“Prior to the work taking place, we checked our legal position. As these trees were not protected, nor in a conservation area, we were entitled to remove them.”

Cllr Peter Burt, NHDC portfolio holder for waste, recycling and environment, said: “Myself, Letchworth councillors and officers in the grounds maintenance team are equally upset that these trees have been cut down, and extremely frustrated that we were not advised that the felling was due to take place.

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“The trees were on land leased to Greene King, but it is a condition of that lease that any work of this nature would have to be approved by us, approval that we would most certainly not have given. We are now seeking confirmation of who took the decision to remove the trees, and that is still ongoing.”

Letchworth GC resident Alison Wassing added: “We are supposedly the Garden City. Why can various bodies chop trees down with out any notification to residents? Trees are so precious to the ecosystem, and once the majestic beauties are cut down they are gone.”

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