Campaigners stage colourful protest urging Plymouth council to save trees from the chop

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Campaigners have been brightening up trees in Plymouth in an attempt to save them from being chopped down today (3 December).

The city is preparing for a long-awaited £12million renovation project, creating an 'urban park' running through the centre of town.

But a plan to get rid of a collection of more than 130 mature trees is causing controversy.

The council says the plans will be paused and reassessed. Credit: ITV News

Alison White, founder of the 'Save the Trees of Armada Way' (Straw) campaign, said: "We're really lucky to have all these mature trees in Plymouth, not many cities would have this many trees in the middle of town. Local people feel really strongly about this.

"We haven't said we're against regeneration or investment, obviously investment is welcome, but the plans from the beginning always involved the complete removal of the trees. There was never any attempt to incorporate them into the plans."

The Armada Way project will cost more than £12million. Credit: Plymouth City Council

Plymouth City Council initially promised to plant around 150 new trees, which it said would be healthier and more suitable to the location.

But last week the growing public anger forced the authority to announce a 'short pause' to address concerns raised by the community.

More than 8,000 people have now signed a petition to save the existing trees.

More than 8,000 people have signed a petition. Credit: ITV News

A council spokesman said: "The city council has agreed to a short pause on the Armada Way project so that the concerns that have recently been raised can be considered before the final design is completed.

"The multi-disciplinary design team is now exploring if some of the existing trees can be incorporated within the project, or relocated elsewhere, whilst maintaining the overall integrity of the scheme and its wider benefits.

"Whilst this happens there will be no further trees removed although some further enabling works will continue."