15 March 2023
Last night’s mass felling of trees, taking place under the cover of darkness with no advance warning, is a shameful and shocking act going against the will of Plymouth citizens. It flies in the face of the recent ‘meaningful community engagement’, where an overwhelming majority objected to the Armada Way regeneration scheme in its current form .
Councillors, who are elected to represent their residents, were given no time to scrutinise the executive decision ordered by Conservative council leader, Richard Bingley.
Lauren McLay, Councillor for Plympton Chaddlewood, said: “I’m disappointed and disgusted by this act of environmental vandalism committed by the Conservative-run Council. Their disregard for nature and the views of their residents is shameful. A valuable green space in the heart of our city has been destroyed for aesthetics.”
Green Party Group leader Ian Poyser, Councillor for Plympton Chaddlewood, said: “It makes me feel sick to see how the council have pushed this through in bad faith in the middle of the night. This kind of ecological vandalism must not be repeated.”
The Greens call for an independent inquiry into the decision-making behind the felling of the trees.
Councillor Poyser added: “The Council should take the opportunity to review its consultation processes to ensure residents are better informed of schemes as they develop, with more creative and accessible opportunities to input. Public views ought to be taken into consideration much earlier in the design process. Without changing the way the Council listens to and engages with residents, the danger is that this kind of mess is repeated in the future.”
“Reaching our city’s climate goals and aspirations for nature recovery rely on people from across the city working together - the decisions that led to last night’s tree felling undermine this work. It’s vital that the Council now takes steps to restore faith and rebuild relationships.”
Deputy leader Councillor George Wheeler, who represents residents in St Budeaux, said: “This could have been stopped by the Labour group who had the opportunity to call an Extraordinary Council Meeting. They chose not to do this.”
We would like to thank the many Plymothians who protested and raised the profile of this scandal.
 The council’s own survey results report that 78% believe that the current scheme does not strike the right balance between creating improved spaces for everyone, the provision of new trees and the retention of existing trees