Concern planning rules are being broken over supermarket trees

MISSING: Where the cherry blossom trees were removed from to make way for Morrisons in 2013

MISSING: Where the cherry blossom trees were removed from to make way for Morrisons in 2013

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The cherry blossom put on a colourful show for motorists on a busy Preston road this year, but left one councillor almost crimson with rage.

Around a dozen of the trees which give a pink fringe to the city’s longest throughfare at this time of year were axed to make way for a supermarket in 2013.

These trees are beautiful when they come into blossom and the rest of that stretch of Blackpool Road has looked very attractive over the past few weeks.

Terry Cartwright

But 18 months on Coun Terry Cartwright claims there are no signs of replacements being planted, contrary to planning conditions.

“Nothing seems to be happening and as a local councillor it upsets me,” he said.

“These trees are beautiful when they come into blossom and the rest of that stretch of Blackpool Road has looked very attractive over the past few weeks. But where are the ones which the council said the developers should planted in place of the ones they took out?”

Coun Cartwright, who represents Deepdale as an independent, was dropped from the planning committee recently when the authority decided to chop it back from 16 to 12 members.

His only opportunity now to voice his opinion is the full council meeting every six weeks. But the former Labour politician insists he will carry on fighting for the people in his ward, even though he feels he has been excluded for political reasons.

“I can still ask questions and that’s what I intend to do,” he said. “So where are the trees which were taken out to make way for the Morrisons store on Blackpool Road? Are our officers not chasing up things like this?

“I can recall quite clearly that the planning committee gave permission for this development on certain conditions.

“One was that the developers could remove eight or nine of these trees from the verge for the road junction to go in there. But they had to replace them on a one-for-one bases.

“I’ve been down there and I reckon 13 trees have disappeared, not eight or nine. I’m not daft enough to think we will get all 13 replaced, but I do think we should get eight or nine.

“If so, when is that going to happen? I understand there are only certain times of the year when trees can be planted, but we seem to have missed a couple of those already. What’s happening?”

A spokesman for Preston Council, which ordered the trees to be replaced, said: “Our planning enforcement team is now aware of this issue and they are investigating.”

A Morrisons spokesperson explained: “This is the developer’s responsibility not ours.”