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UPDATED: Brighton council could save elm tree set for chop in Seven Dials scheme
10:47am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
Two campaigners have camped up a tree in a bid to save it from being felled.
The pair shimmied up the elm tree late last night as part of a protest to stop it being chopped down.
The tree, in Vernon Terrace in Hove, is planned to be felled as part of the Seven Dials roundabout work started by the council on Monday.
The scheme is designed to improve safety at the junction, which is notorious for traffic accidents.
A crowd of people offered support to the two tree campers, who were using a pulley system to receive supplies.
Camapigners, including ward councillors who previously supported the widespread changes, have been at the site throughout today.
A statement issued by Brighton and Hove City Council at 4pm said it would consider options around saving the historic tree.
Executive director Geoff Raw said: “There is no question; we need to improve this junction to make it safer for everyone.
"It’s a dangerous spot which has been the site of too many accidents resulting in serious injuries.
"The community-approved design has been widely consulted on, including in a public meeting in December where the need to remove the tree was announced.
"The decision to proceed was taken by the cross-party Transport Committee in January and includes the planting of ten more trees which would see Seven Dials become even greener.
"At the moment the tree to be felled is obstructing people’s view of the junction and oncoming traffic as they cross the road and its root is damaging the footpath, causing accessibility problems.
"Felling a large elm is not a decision taken lightly; it is an absolute last resort. It’s the council’s dedication to our elms which has ensured that we have the finest collection in the country.
"We are listening to concerns and we’re happy to look at and consider alternative proposals."
For full reaction and pictures see tomorrow's Argus.
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