Future of century-old tree to be decided this week

The future of a century-old tree that was just minutes from being chopped down could be decided this week.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 4:45 pm

The massive lime tree on Station Road in Altofts is subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) which will be discussed at Wakefield Council's planning meeting on Thursday.

Earlier in the summer angry residents confronted contractors who were gearing up to fell the tree, and work was stopped.

A TPO was hastily submitted to Wakefield Council meaning the tree is granted provisional protection until the final decision is made.

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Allison and Andrew Lund, who live opposite the tree, launched the campaign to keep it.

Part of Altofts Hall Farm, it is thought the tree could be up to 150-years-old, with pictures existing from 1900 showing it to be already well established.

The land is now owned by Taylor Wimpey, who are seeing the develop the land.

There have been two objections to the TPO, from the arboricultural consultants appointed by the landowner, and one from architect acting on behalf of the landowner.

They claim the TPO does not follow the guidelines set out by the government, claim there are "errors in its presentation" and that the tree has "very prominent tree defects".

In response, the planning officer described the objections as "misleading".

Planning officers at the council have recommended that the TPO is approved, although the final decision will be down to the councillors who sit on the planning committee.

Nearly 500 people signed an online petition to save the imposing tree, and 20 emails have been sent to the council, including two from ward councillors.

Allison Lund, who lives opposite the tree, was the first out of her house when the contractors began work, and set up the petition, previously said: "They should not be chopping this tree down.

“It is beautiful and magnificent and is just the perfect tree.

“It’s been there that long, and I just think we are pushing the environment programme and we need more trees.

“We should be complementing them not have them cut down."