Dunmow's mayor expresses disappointment after ancient tree is axed

PUBLISHED: 08:34 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:32 30 May 2010

DUNMOW S top dignitary has said that he is disappointed at the felling of a 120-year-old tree that was located at the town s Angel Lane doctors surgery. Speaking on a personal level about the removal of the 100-foot Cedar of Lebanon Tree, town mayor Gw

DUNMOW'S top dignitary has said that he is "disappointed" at the felling of a 120-year-old tree that was located at the town's Angel Lane doctors' surgery.

Speaking on a personal level about the removal of the 100-foot Cedar of Lebanon Tree, town mayor Gwynn Davies said that he hopes the actions of the owner does not "set a precedent" for the rest of the town's trees.

"I am disappointed that such a majestic tree has been felled for what I believe to be for the wrong reasons," he said.

"My opinion is that removal of the lower branches and reducing the tree by 30 per cent, with regular inspection and maintenance, would virtually eliminate any danger to people or property."

Lead doctor at the surgery, Dr Peter Linn, obtained permission to remove the tree from Uttlesford District Council after he received advice from a specialist.

He told the Broadcast that despite it being completely healthy he had been warned that the tree could break or snap during bad weather, bringing it down on the surgery or on top of patients coming in and out.

"The safety of the 9000 patients that use the surgery had to come before the preservation of the tree - it is a case of functionality over form" he said.

Up until two weeks ago the tree had been the subject of a 25-year protection order to stop it from being chopped down.

But safety fears included a lightning strike, shedding branches, roots affecting the surgery building and car park, and pine needles being a hazard underfoot.

Cllr Davies disagrees. He said: "It was a bit drastic. It was a well-loved and conspicuous landmark.

"So many landmarks have been lost in Dunmow in recent years and so much new building going on in Standrums.

"Whether the space freed up will be used for extra car-parking or some other purpose, only time will tell. Unfortunately the tree's gone now and we'll just have to learn our lesson in case other tree owners see this as a precedent for creating a bit of useful space.

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