Trees replaced in Westcliff
Road improvements in Westcliff are to include the planting of new trees. Colemans Avenue, Kings Road and Tintern Avenue will have trees replaced and replanted as part of the council's £10m drive to improve pavements and ensure the safety of footpaths. The decision to remove trees was made on safety grounds after a joint inspection by Southend City Council's highway engineers and arboriculture team uncovered significant damage to the footways of the streets caused by the surface roots of the trees.
Leigh Coun Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism, and planning, said: "Our tree policy sets out how the council manages its trees, including those unfortunate situations when trees need to be removed. Our first criteria is to ask if the tree can be saved by other works and adjustments in the highway scheme or to the tree itself and we will always look to keep mature trees and only remove them when absolutely necessary, such as in this instance where the trees are causing damage to the footpath which is a safety concern. We have, however, managed to limit the loss in Colemans Avenue by alternative means and will always try to do this first. The extent of the damage to the paths means that essential footway resurfacing work is deemed impossible without cutting and removing significant numbers of large surface roots. It is not possible to do this and safely keep the trees because cutting the roots will lead to a lack of stability and potentially cause the tree to die."
The council's Tree Policy is committed to increasing the town's tree canopy cover from 12% to 15%, which is an increase of over 1km2, a rise of 20% from the current 5.17km2, and the equivalent of 150 football pitches.
More information can be found at southend.gov.uk/trees