Sutton councillor vows to chain himself to tree to prevent it being chopped down


Complaints were receieved about the damage the tree has caused the pavement.


By Jacob Meltcalf

A century-old Sutton tree at risk of being brought down has fallen under the protection of a councillor.

Conservative councillor Tony Shields has vowed to chain himself to the tree, on Langley Park Road, should the council proceed with its plans to give it the chop.

The tree in question is a copper beech and is quite rare, sporting red leaves rather than the usual green, and the councillor is prepared to put up a fight to save it.

 “If I don’t get the answer I want I will,” he said.

“The tree is the logo of the borough.”

He also said he understands and agrees with the need to cut down a tree if it is diseased or a danger to society, but that this isn’t the case here.

“If they fell that one it makes the case to fell every tree in the surrounding streets and area,” he added.

Councillor Shields spoke to the occupant living in the house nearest the tree, who said he would consider letting the council extend the pavement on to his property to save the tree.

The resident, who enjoys the trees, has agreed to allow a foot by three foot long of his property to be turned into pavement.

However, the council rejected the proposal and are looking for other alternatives to deal with the problem.

An investigation into the tree was prompted when Sutton Council received a complaint about damage to the pavement caused by the tree, which made it difficult for prams to pass.

Councillor Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, said: “The council does everything it can to support its policy not to remove healthy trees and look for alternatives where possible.

“Sutton is known for its leafy, green appearance so we do everything we can to maintain this.”

Photo courtesy of amortize, with thanks.

Follow us @SW_Londoner

Related Articles