Plymouth City Council scraps Armada Way scheme that saw more than one hundred trees cut down

The new leader of Plymouth City Council has scrapped a regeneration scheme that saw more than one hundred healthy trees cut down.

Labour politician Tudor Evans took charge earlier this month and has reversed the plans because they have proved "hugely damaging" to the city's reputation.

The multi-million pound regeneration scheme saw more than 100 trees cut down in the city centre on Armada Way during the middle of the night in March.

The project led to a public outcry from many in the city and work to cut down the remaining trees was paused after a last-minute injunction was issued. It also led to the resignation of the then-leader of the council, Conservative politician Richard Bingley.

Cllr Evans has said he halted the scheme 'within hours' of taking office and that it will no longer go ahead.

He said: “I think we can all agree that the decision to fell the trees has been hugely damaging – not just to the council, but to the city and Plymouth’s growing reputation as a place that cares passionately about getting greener.

“There are many lessons we can learn from this sorry affair that has polarised opinion in Plymouth and about Plymouth.

“We need to move forward and make sure we get this right. In the first instance, we need to focus on cleaning up the current site and talking and listening to communities, businesses and key stakeholders in the coming weeks.

"It is time for the Council to take back control of this project.”

Cllr Evans has tasked officers with engaging with key groups and businesses on future plans for Armada way.

He will also be joined by other senior politicians for walkabout of the Armada Way site and will hold urgent meetings with city business representatives next week.

The council has also announced plans to deploy a 'hit squad' to tackle litter that has built up around the site, after workers were blocked from removing the cutdown trees due to concerns about nesting birds.

An independent ecologist will be consulted on when the council can clear the stumps of the felled trees, and how this an be done without damaging any birds nests.