CONCERNS were raised to the Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) over it's policies regarding tree policies, it was heard in the latest meeting.

Cllr Paul Fishwick, Lib Dem councillor for Winnersh, quizzed Cllr Parry Batth, Conservative and executive for environment and leisure, in the virtual meeting on July 30, over the council's current lack of tree-replacement policy, once a tree is removed.

Cllr Fishwick asked Cllr Parry batth: "There have been a number of street tress that have been moved but not replaced in the last few years, and in many cases the verge is wide enough and the conditions are suitable to allow replacements to be planted.

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"WBC does not have a tree replacement policy, but has planted trees elsewhere.

"The loss of these street trees has changed the street scene, making it look more urban.

"Will the council make sure street trees will be replaced wherever feasibly possible, including locations where trees have been lost in the last five years?"

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Responding, Cllr Parry Batth said: "The council acknowledges the importance of street trees in softening the urban street scene and has ensured that the provision of street trees in an integral part of the designs in the new roads SDLs.

"Whilst we do not have a current policy on the loss of existing street trees, it is worth noting it is very rare for the council to agree to the removal of street trees for anything other than health and safety grounds.

"In the event that a street tree must be removed for health and safety reasons, the decision to plant a replacement tree is taken on a case by case basis.

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"The WBC is in the process of developing a tree replacement strategy, and it is likely that this document will stablish policies that will help identify areas that could be improved by tree planting and guide our decision on the replacement of lost trees.

"The development of a tree strategy would include a public consultation with the residents, and we would welcome your personal input into that process."

Cllr Fishwick also asked Cllr Batth: "would you please confirm the planting schedule would commence as soon as possible, and hopefully by this forthcoming planting season (autumn/winter) try and aim for 75 per cent loss of trees where feasible?"

Cllr Batth responded again: "I wholeheartedly agree with you, and I am very much sure what you are suggesting will happen."