Council admits cherry trees in Sunderland city centre are 'not acceptable' and promises to replace them
The three trees in question were planted by Sunderland City Council in Holmeside on May 4 but will soon be replaced, with bosses saying that “the form of the cherry trees was not acceptable”.
The trees have annoyed Grant Tully whose family sewing machine business, Tully’s, has been trading in the city for generations and have had premises on Holmeside since 1977.
Mr Tully’s main grievance is that the cherry blossoms currently outside his shop are obscuring his signage. He says it is bad for business for the shop to be obscured in this way.
But he has also called into question the thinking behind replacing the trees with similar cherry blossoms so soon afterwards.
A tree researcher based in Bristol, Daisy Brasington, read the story and said: “It would be a disservice to the environment and the taxpayer to replace these trees with smaller ones now they are are planted.”
The trees are part of the council’s “bus rationalisation project”; part of a £4.6million initiative aimed at making the city centre more bus-friendly.
However, Sunderland City Council has given a statement to the Echo, saying that the trees will be replaced at no additional cost to council tax payers.
The statement said: “The Holmeside Bus Rationalisation Scheme, in conjunction with the Station Public Realm works, includes a comprehensive city-wide street tree strategy to implement ecological enhancement, biodiversity net gain, and carbon reduction.
“As part of this scheme three cherry trees were proposed as part of Phase 1 works.
“Following installation of the three cherry trees, a member of Sunderland City Council’s landscape team inspected the trees and considered that the form of the cherry trees was not acceptable.
“As a result it was decided that the trees would be replaced with three cherry trees with a more acceptable form.
“The trees will be replaced at no extra costs to the council under the existing contractual agreements and will meet all of the requirements of the original design and tree strategy.”