A campaign has been launched to save a row of trees on the Grand Union Canal towpath in Leamington amid development plans.
Town councillor Jill Barker, who represents the Brunswick ward, has oaunched the petiton to appeal to Warwick District Council and The Canal and River Trust (CRT) “to protect and preserve mature trees lining the Grand Union Canal towpath in Leamington between the railway bridge and the PBSA building on Althorpe Street, thus maintaining the physical and mental health benefits, and ecological benefits to the public as part of the town’s ‘green corridor’”.
Cllr Barker is asking people to sign a petiton which points out that permitting the felling of these trees would be counter to the district council’s woodland strategy and to its emerging canal conservation area plans and the CRT’s declared commitment to care for the environment and to towpath users.
Cllr Barker said: “In its Terms of Governance and the Canal and River Trust promises to maintain the ecology of the towpath, and in particular its trees.
“In Leamington the ‘green corridor’ along the towpath connects with the railway verges and also with our open parkland, but we have been losing it bit by bit.
“The CRT has been permitting mature trees to be felled by leasing off sections of its land to developers.
“This is not in accordance with their public commitments as a charity.
“Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council also have a clearly stated duty towards trees on both public and private land.
“That’s why I want to send CRT and WDC a petition insisting that the trees between the railway bridge and the new student block be preserved.
“This campaign is personal, not political, as every tree lost hurts us all.
“I care about it so much that I will publicise it wherever I can, including on party-oriented Facebook pages.
“So far our trees have gained over 200 supporters - but I need more.”
The trees are near the proposed site for student flat holding more than 250 bedrooms.
Althorpe Street Developments Ltd want to construct three large buildings for student accommodation and employment, as well as open space for the public.
In May a public consultation took place where residents will be invited to view and comment on the proposed development.
District councillor Kristie Naimo (Lab, Leamington Brunswick) said that the plans are not in keeping with the council’s policies for the area.