Narrow victory for officials in removal of Elgin trees

Waulkmill Trees
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS TREES around a Moray housing estate will be felled after councillors voted for the revocation of preservation orders.

The decision was far from unanimous at the planning and development services meeting on Tuesday, when several councillors expressed their concerns over the idea of removing preservation orders for land that was privately owned.

Councillor Douglas Ross moved that the preservation orders should not be revoked at least until such time as proper consultations had taken place with affected residents. However, the committee voted seven to five to go ahead with the plan.

Experts who had inspected the tall Scots Pines in the area to the front and rear of homes on Waulkmill Grove and behind Barlink Road and Reynolds Crescent reported them as being in “poor condition” and as such likely to present a risk of falling.

It was pointed out during the meeting that while the report from experts had been obtained in 2010, no action had been taken as priority was given to production of the local development plan for Moray.

Head of planning and development services, Jim Grant, explained that now that the local plan had been completed staff were bringing other work up to day – including the backlog of tree preservation orders.

Following the vote the committee chairman, Councillor Chris Tuke, instructed officials to include consultation with local residents and landowners in future before bringing plans to remove preservation orders before the committee.