Anger over number of trees to be felled as part of council’s Leamington HQ move project

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Residents living near Warwick District Council’s Riverside House headquarters have been angered after they discovered more trees will be lost than they had first expected when a housing estate is built on the site.

Before it was approved, the development plan - which is part of the council’s project to relocate its headquarters to new offices in the town centre - included the loss of 40 trees with protection orders and several others which are not protected at the Milverton Hill site.

But since then residents have discovered that a further ten trees with protection orders on the site are likely to be cut down to make way for the development of up to 170 homes, which does not include any affordable housing.

The total number of trees lost, including two giant copper beech trees in Milverton Hill, could be 78 and residents say the plans mislead people into thinking this number would be less.

Ian Findlater, of the Portland Place West Residents Group, said: “Leamington is one of the worst places in the UK for air pollution and it is these trees which help to tackle that, yet they are being demolished.

“These trees have been around for centuries and it is disgraceful.

“Our environment is going to suffer because of this headquarters plan.

“We are not against something going on the site but we want it to be done right.”

Warwick Tree Wardens have visited Riverside House to undertake an assessment of the trees the council plan to fell.

Based on a Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees assessment,the group envisage the value of the felled trees to be in excess of £500,000.

Members are concerned about the knock-on effect this will have on the already poor air quality in Leamington and Warwick and that trees are being cut down faster than they are being planted across the district while work on the Local Plan gets underway.

The council has been approached for a comment.