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Safety of new trees questioned

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Council officers have promised they will not put drivers’ safety at risk after residents voiced concerns over visibility at a busy junction.

Suffolk county councillor John Sayers was contacted by residents of Chaucer Road in Sudbury, who raised concerns about visibility when exiting on to Melford Road due to a series of trees that have been recently planted.

One of the complainants was Colin Spence, a county councillor himself.

He said: “The junction for all of us who live in Chaucer Road is very busy and its visibility must be kept clear.”

Mr Spence said that getting on to Melford Road – the main road out of the town towards Long Melford and Bury St Edmunds – could be tricky, especially as it is next to a pedestrian crossing.

“The trees may only be saplings now, but they will become very big over time,” he said.

Mr Spence said the matter had been referred back to Babergh District Council and the highways department at Suffolk County Council.

Alice Martin, assistant arboricultural officer at Babergh, said she was confident the trees were not closer than highways guidelines, but promised to move them if they were found to be a problem.

She added that most of the trees that had been planted were to replace others that had previously died or been removed.

Mrs Martin also apologised for a mix-up which resulted in the removal of a tree planted in memory of a community volunteer in the town.

The gingko tree was in memory of Philip Briggs – an active member of the Sudbury in Bloom committee.

After complaints from Mr Briggs’ widow, Jennifer, council officers realised contractors had moved the tree so that it was in line with the freshly-planted saplings.

Mrs Martin said this was a mistake and would be rectified as soon as possible.

She added: “If the tree suffers any adverse effects, we will replace it.”

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