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Trees get the chop amid safety fears

ROOT AND BRANCH ... Couns Nancy Maxwell, Eddie McAtominey and John McCabe, right, with the trees that are being removed in Hexham Avenue, Hebburn.

ROOT AND BRANCH ... Couns Nancy Maxwell, Eddie McAtominey and John McCabe, right, with the trees that are being removed in Hexham Avenue, Hebburn.

TROUBLESOME trees are being rooted out as part of a £10,500 scheme in Hebburn.

Problems with cracked and uneven pavements have raised safety concerns in Hexham Avenue for several years.

Now trees planted more than 50 years ago are being dug out, but councillors say new specimens will eventually take their place.

Problems with cracked pavements were highlighted recently during a walkabout by councillors.

Letters were later delivered to residents, advising them about the work and asking them to raise any concerns.

Coun John McCabe said: “There are about 300 properties in Hexham Avenue, with quite a lot of elderly people, and there have been accidents with broken pavements in the past.

“Many Swedish whitebeam and poplar trees were planted in Hexham Avenue and neighbouring streets, and the roots have grown and caused cracks and holes in the pavements.

“The scheme will be in three stages and the plan is for new trees, which are more suitable, to be replanted in Hexham Avenue and Campbell Park Road, according to the council’s tree-planting policy.”

The tree scheme has been welcomed by Hebburn South ward Couns McCabe, Nancy Maxwell and Eddie McAtominey.

A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “Many of the trees were in a poor condition.

“There was danger to the paving and it was considered that the long-term viability of the trees was limited, and that using this funding would allow the council to plant trees, with more longevity, in suitable tree pits.

“Work has started and the initial removal should be complete in early February, with the installation of tree pits after this.”

All 21 trees removed in Hexham Avenue will be replaced during the next planting season, with replacement trees also due to be planted in Campbell Park Road.

Members of Hebburn community area forum are funding the £10,500 tree scheme through its budgets.

Twitter: @terrykelly16

 

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