Council make first moves to remove troubled Elgin trees

Trees in Reiket Lane area could lose their protected status

TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS that halt the removal of trees in the Reiket Lane area of Elgin could be revoked if a recommendation is accepted by Moray Councillors on Tuesday.

Members of the planning and regulatory services committee will be asked to note surveys that have found mature pine trees on the housing development are not suitable for the location and are in any event in a poor condition.

According to the survey findings the trees pose a risk to people and property and lacked maintenance – it also considered that any potential management plan would not work.

In the report planning officers say: “Based on the findings of the surveys, it is considered necessary to revoke the tree preservation orders.

“While it is accepted that the trees within the area add amenity value, it is clear that even with a maintenance plan the lifespan and condition of the trees cannot be improved and a proactive long-term solution has to be sought.”

The existing preservation order covers 45ft tall trees in an area in front of residential properties in Waulkmill Grove and an area behind Barlink Road, Waulkmill Grove and Reynolds Crescent.

The report acknowledges that trees would be lost: “While it is regrettable that mature trees will be lost, expert advice concludes that measures have to be taken in order to enhance this area for the long-term safety of the residents and provide an improved and attractive area of open space more appropriate for this setting.”

Committee members will be made aware that discussions have been taking place with a developer with a view to improving the area. It adds that if the preservation orders were revoked it was then likely that proposals for redevelopment would be forthcoming.

The report acknowledges that Moray Council policy on development of woodlands in the Moray Local Development Plan requires the provision of compensatory planting of trees where development proposals involved the felling of trees or woodland.