11 March 2020
After one round of negotiations, called for by local people including school students and Green Party councillors, County Highways officers were adamant the trees must go. Local alarm as tree felling started led to media coverage and occupation of remaining trees led by Extinction Rebellion (XR).
Green Party councillor Wendy Turner, who represents Thurston on the District Council said:
“We are pressing highways to find another way round this problem in order to save the trees.
These veteran trees are so important, to wildlife and visually, so in this case we must try harder to find a different planning solution. Road safety is important but biodiversity is now a global emergency recognised by our council. The balance between the conflicting requirements needs to change.”
Green Party county councillor Andrew Stringer added
"We cannot let highways requirements override all other considerations. If parliament was creating a new entrance would we agreed to knock down Big Ben to provide the necessary visibility splay?
Wendy Turner surveys the damage
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