Ring of Oaks will suffer the chop

By Chris Willmott 01/03 Updated: 08/03 10:35

Buy photos » Louise Nason walks her dogs in Shirley Park. This path will soon be demolished. 09.012.006.sol.jg3

PLANNING chiefs have approved controversial proposals to cut down Shirley's Ring of Oaks - revealed in last week's Observer.

As part of the Parkgate scheme developer Shirley Advance had agreed to move the trees which would have been in the middle of the new ASDA supermarket.

But a survey it had conducted after planning permission was agreed led it to request a change to conditions.

And following approval from Solihull Council's planning committee the developer will now be able to simply cut the trees down to make way for the development.

The approval has been slammed by Solihull MP Lorely Burt who described it as a 'betrayal of residents'.

She added: “One of the biggest concerns amongst people I spoke to about the Parkgate scheme was the loss of this beautiful set of oak trees.

“That’s why the clause was inserted to require the trees to be relocated.

"Now that the Tories have voted to remove this, we are going to lose these historic trees forever.

"They steamrolled this development through despite huge objections and now are going back on the promises they made to concerned local people. It is not good enough.”

Former Shirley Councillor Tim Hodgson has also condemned the councillors who he claims have 'caved in to demands' from Parkgate developers Shirley Advance not to relocate the Oak Circle within the park.

He said: "The least they could do is recreate the Oak Circle if it has to go and I will be launching a campaign to pressurise Shirley Advance into doing this."

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