* 400+ trees to be felled
* 3.3 acres wildlife habitat destroyed
* Council ignored statutory duty of consultation
A plan by Manchester City Council to fell over 400 healthy trees and destroy over three acres of wildlife habitat are being condemned by local residents. The fellings planned as part of a £4.6M series of changes to the popular Alexandra Park in Moss Side are due to start today and have led to protests.
Chrissy Lowe of the Save Alexandra Parks Trees campaign said “This action by the council is completely unjustified and deliberately ignores the wishes of local residents. The Council has misled the public about both the extent and reason for felling the trees and park users regard this as an act of municipal vandalism by a council hell-bent on riding roughshod over the local residents.”
The planned changes to Alexandra Park also include controversial plans to fell many much loved mature trees to make way for tennis courts despite the fact that existing courts in the park are unused and there are already 9 tennis clubs within a mile.
“This grubby deal between the LTA and the Council means that we now have to have tennis courts whether we want them or need them and is typical of the Council’s high-handed attitude” says I. Brewer
The Council also failed in its statutory duty to consult local residents. “Simply counting the total number of people who attended various meetings and then claiming each one of those as being a consultation is deeply dishonest. We are confident that this doesn’t fulfil their legal requirements and could be grounds for judicial review.” says I. Brewer
Anyone concerned about the Council’s plans is urged to contact the Save Alexandra Parks Trees Group. A similar plan to fell 476 in Whalley Range was abandoned a year ago following a public outcry.
Save Alexandra Parks Trees are a community group of local residents and park users dedicated to preserving the park’s trees and biodiversity.
Ian Brewer and Chrissy Lowe