Trees delay youth project

PUBLISHED: 17:38 22 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:02 24 May 2010

EXCITING plans to build a £1.8 million youth centre in Portishead have been held up - because the development may damage three lime trees on the site. Plans for the development at Harbour Road were handed to planners in December, but will now have to go b

EXCITING plans to build a £1.8 million youth centre in Portishead have been held up - because the development may damage three lime trees on the site.Plans for the development at Harbour Road were handed to planners in December, but will now have to go back to the drawing board after it was revealed the building works could damage the trees.One of the lime trees is in Harbour Road, another is on the youth centre site and the third is on the cadet centre land.Architects appointed by the youth club - Bristol based Inscape - put forward plans to manage and retain the trees.But North Somerset Council said it was not happy with the proposals and wanted its own tree expert to take a look.Local councillors say they are keen to see the tree issue resolved and the planning permission for the development granted.Portishead councillor Michael Johnston said: "I would very much like to see the youth club planning application move forward as any delay could compromise potential funding opportunities."As far as the trees themselves, they have not been managed over the years and are now in need of severe pruning."The roots could also be protected by using tree guards. Protecting mature trees is a very sensitive issue and I would not wish to see the trees removed."However, I am sure a compromise situation can be reached."The youth club has already raised £402,000 towards the redevelopment project and plans to apply for further funding once planning consent is in place.North Somerset Council spokesman Stephen Makin said: "A tree survey was not carried out prior to the designs for the centre being drawn up and the application being submitted. A later survey showed that there were three lime trees that are very valuable and must be saved. The plans that were refused would ultimately see the trees die due to development around the roots.

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