Anger as 'Coppull's biggest tree' is felled without warning

The tree in the background, has now been felled by Lancashire County Council. Image courtesy of Google.
The tree in the background, has now been felled by Lancashire County Council. Image courtesy of Google.

A councillor is calling for an investigation after trees up to 40ft tall were felled without consultation.


A councillor is calling for an investigation after trees up to 40ft tall were felled without consultation.


Contractors hired by Lancashire County Council (LCC) carried out the work in early January on the former playing fields of St Oswald’s RC Primary School, Coppull, which have been unused since 2009. The authority is keen to ready the site for sale.


LCC owns the land, some of which is identified in the Chorley local plan for housing, while Coppull Parish Council wants to see the rest become an extension to the adjacent Blainsclough Wood Nature Reserve, or used for amenities such as allotments.


The work to flatten trees this week has been labelled as “vandalism” by Coppull Parish Councillor Steve Holgate, who claims LCC did not make councillors or residents aware of the work.


He said: “I would expect this sort of vandalism from money-grabbing developers, not from the County Council which is meant to represent the views of the people.


“I will be calling for an investigation into how much (ecological) value there was on that site.”


One local resident outraged about the felling, was told the trees were under “no immediate threat” by Chorley Borough Council after enquiring about a Tree Protection Order (TPO) in the summer of 2016.


Gary Pearse, head of the estates service at Lancashire County Council, said: “The work on this site involved clearing brambles, vegetation and some trees, as the site was quite overgrown in places.


“We carried out this work under the supervision of an ecologist to ensure the ecology of the site was respected, and no issues were identified.


“The land is no longer required by the county council, and as it is identified in Chorley Borough Council’s local plan for housing, it is hoped that a sale for this purpose can be achieved.


“In order that the suitability of the land for development can be assessed, we’ve been carrying out some clearance work to enable site investigations to be undertaken.”