Fig tree axing could prompt law change

TOUGHER controls to protect listed trees could be introduced – after developers chopped down a ‘listed’ fig tree to make way for a coastal development.

The large tree, which stood in the car park of the now-closed Wayside Café, was a familiar sight to visitors to St Brelade’s Bay.

But it was recently removed to allow for a redevelopment of the area which will see homes and a restaurant and delicatessen built on the site of the former café and its car park.

Following complaints from the St Brelade’s Bay Association, led by former political hopeful Moz Scott, Environment Minister John Young says he will now look to strengthen controls around preserving listed trees.

However, he added that the granting of permission to remove the listed tree was not an oversight and was made according to planning policies.

‘As part of the planning decision, I am told that an assessment and evaluation [of the tree] was done and the decision to remove the tree was completed in accordance with the planning laws and processes,’ he said.

‘That is what I have been told – I have not personally looked into the case. But what I now have undertaken to do is to strengthen the laws surrounding listed trees.’

In a statement, Ms Scott said: ‘It was a beautiful mature fig tree which was listed following a onerous process undertaken by the States abricultural officer. It is clear from the comments left on our Facebook page that people were upset by its removal.

‘Anyone making a decision on a planning application should ensure that there is adequate provision in terms of trees on the site.

‘We are now asking the Environment Minister to investigate the decision making process.’

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