More concerns over tree felling

CLEARING: Tree felling in Stream Field. (4394759)

CLEARING: Tree felling in Stream Field. (4394759)

First published in News

CONCERNS about the damage being caused by mass tree felling in Stream Field have been reiterated by an environmental group and a ward councillor.

Residents of Laburnum Close have described the work - a £2 million flood management project aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2007 floods that affected more than 100 properties along the catchment - as a "devastation" of the land.

Other concerns raised by a residents group include the safety of the flood "lagoon", the impact on local wildlife and what they perceive as a lack of consultation over the work.

Joining the group in their concerns are Barry and Vale Friends of the Earth, whose co-ordinator Keith Stockdale recently visited the site.

He said: "Virtually all of the trees and bushes in the meadow have been razed to the ground in preparation for a lagoon which is supposed to avoid the monsoon type flooding which occurred in 2007.

"The FoE group are working with residents to look at possible planning irregularities and to demand that trees are returned to the long meadow.

"We will also be working with the concerned residents, to see that the meadow is restored to its previous natural and biodiverse condition."

Independent Councillor Richard Bertin added his support, saying: "I can fully understand why residents have concerns about the removal of the trees in this green area.

"I personally feel that the Vale Council could have done more to keep residents informed of developments at this site and I have taken this up with the head of service.

"Now I just hope that once the flood prevention works are completed here that the lost trees are replaced and safety measures are installed around the lagoon."

In answer to some of the concerns raised, the Vale council's Director of Visible Services and Housing Miles Punter wrote in correspondence to Cllr Bertin that the area would be returned to its former state and that the lagoon would be safely gated off when it is being used for water storage, during extreme weather.

Addressing concerns about the wildlife and a lack of consultation, he said: "All necessary and practicable precautions were taken with respect to the potential for disturbing nesting birds during the works.

"The council held a public meeting on May 31, 2012 at Oakfield Primary School, Barry to advise local residents of this Coldbrook Catchment Flood Risk Management Scheme which, regrettably, was poorly attended. In preparation for this I personally sent letters to 1200 properties."

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