A GROUP of trees was granted protected status in Rotherham town centre despite opposition from residents and businesses.
The council’s planning board agreed a tree preservation order (TPO) for five London planes and a sycamore off Moorgate Street.
Neighbours complained that the trees blocked light, attracted anti-social behaviour and prevented efforts to landscape the area.
Resident Ralph Atkinson said: “There’s no amenity to anyone apart from trespassers and drug dealers. The trees are on private land with views from Grove Road being very restricted.
“We have put forward several ideas on how we can improve the overall amenity to the people will actually experience it.”
Rotherham Borough Council had the trees assessed twice. Both times they scored at least 16 on the tempo scale, which says trees getting 12 and up are worthy of protection.
Nigel Hancock, RMBC planning development officer, said: “I think there might be a slight misconception about TPOs.
“A TPO doesn’t say these trees will always be here and you can’t do anything to them. It doesn’t prevent the removal of trees, or developments which outweigh the benefit of keeping the trees. It just means that an application has to be submitted.”
The order was put forward by the council after an earlier application to fell the sycamore by Precision Dental and Facial Aesthetics.
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