The scale of tree felling which took place during the night in Plymouth city centre has been revealed in daylight pictures.
More than 100 trees were chopped down in Armada Way last night (14 March) from 8pm as part of a controversial council scheme.
But an injunction served by the High Court at 1am meant the operation was halted, and contractors were forced to stop. However it's understood that there were only a dozen trees left standing by that time.
Many people in Plymouth have reacted angrily to the felling, with some campaigners describing Conservative council leaders as "monsters in the night".
It was described by Luke Pollard, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport as "environmental vandalism".
The £12.7m scheme is part of a regeneration plan for the city centre which will mean the planting of 169 new trees, Plymouth City Council has said.
The authority said it went ahead with the operation during the night in the interest of "public safety" due to the size of the machinery involved and with the aim of "minimising the disruption caused" by cordoning off parts of Armada Way.
Watch as contractors fence off Armada Way as trees are removed. Credit: STRAW
The council’s Conservative leader Richard Bingley signed a delegated decision to press ahead with the scheme due to the potential loss of funding if the operation wasn't "implemented quickly".Members of the campaign group STRAW (Save the Trees of Armada Way) described the upgrade plan as a "vanity project", created by "monsters in the night".
The authority had put a pause on the project in February to allow a consultation to take place but on Tuesday it announced the revised project would restart.
The overall scheme is funded by £2.7m from the Transforming Cities Fund for walking and cycling, which is time restricted, meaning work had to begin by a certain date, and £10m of council capital funding.
The city council said it was taking legal advice after the injunction was put in place.
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