Watch as contractors fence off Armada Way as trees are removed. Credit: STRAW
Work has begun to cut down dozens of trees in Plymouth as part of a controversial multi-million pound renovation project.
More than 100 trees were removed last (Tuesday 14 March) under the cover of darkness after the final go-ahead was given just hours earlier by the city council.
The council says this was done at night "for reasons of public safety" and to minimize disruption.
However, an injuction served by the High Court at 1am meant the operation was halted.
The authority says it planned to replace the trees with 169 'semi-mature' trees which it claims will be healthier and more suited to the location.
More than 8,000 people signed a petition last year to save the existing trees.
The council ran an engagement programme for six days in February giving people the chance to express their views on the new designs.
The council’s final design includes 169 semi-mature trees, a revised planting schedule, and a "commitment to investigate wider tree planting in the city centre".
Assistant Chief Executive, Giles Perritt, said: “We need to get on with this scheme.
"We’ve listened, we have made more environmental improvements and have added more trees but our core priority has to be creating a smart, business friendly, attractive, city centre.
"We cannot lose sight of why we wanted this scheme to happen in the first place.
"We know some people will not be happy with this but we hope that the majority of our residents will appreciate that we have done all we can to address people’s concerns."