Campaigners are celebrating after a council announced that an elm tree could be spared from the chainsaw – at an additional cost of £20,000.

Brighton and Hove City Council has announced that engineers have drawn up new proposals which will save the 150-year-old elm tree in Vernon Terrace, Brighton.

Save Our Tree campaigners described the new proposal’s plans as “money well-spent” and said they hoped the campaign would mean greater consideration for thousands of the city’s roadside trees in the future.

Opposition councillors questioned why it had taken so long for an alternative option to be found.

The announcement follows an eight-week campaign to save the tree which faced the chop in plans to revamp the Seven Dials roundabout.

Under the alternative plans, the roadway of Vernon Terrace will be reduced by 1.5metres to allow another section of pavement to be built around the tree.

The new stretch of pavement would only be 1m wide, half recommended national standards, with councillors voicing concerns about the accessibility of the new solution for wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs.

The council says that the new solution resolves the initial problem of pedestrians being obscured from motorists while using a newly-created crossing.

Councillor Ian Davey, chair of the council’s transport committee, said: “It is clear that this tree is much-loved by the local community, so I am delighted that our transport team have been able to re-design this part of the scheme.”

Millie Ferguson of the Save Our Tree campaign said: “It’s great news, all credit to all sides that there was no entrenched views.

“This campaign has raised the profile of all trees.”

Councillor Alan Robins, Labour transport spokesman, said: “We are pleased that the council has come up with a solution that means the tree can be saved.

“This begs the question as to why the Green council did not instruct officers to keep the elm tree in situ within the new plans in the first place.”

Conservative transport spokesman Councillor Graham Cox said: “An extra £20,000 does seem like an awful lot to be spending when we all know that finances are tight and so I shall be asking for more details at the committee meeting.

“I shall also be seeking reassurances that the compromise doesn’t cause undue problems for disabled people and parents with buggies for example.”

The council’s transport committee will vote on the layout changes at a meeting on Tuesday next week.