Protesters gather at site of controversial planned Wellingborough tree-cutting with work yet to begin
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About 200 people with placards have gathered by the Embankment with some standing in front of the entrance to the car park where contractors are.
Work on the road nearby was due to start at 9.30am but workers are currently sitting in vans. Four police officers, including a local inspector, are at the site.
Thomas Alcindor, who is at the protest carrying a life-size cut-out of David Attenborough, said: “It’s part of Wellingborough’s heritage and they are cutting them down. It’s not about black or white, it’s about being green.
"I felt I had to do something. It’s a crime against nature.”
NNC Green Party councillor Dez Dell, who represents the Clover Hill ward in Kettering, is also at the protest.
He said: “I have a feeling that the planning system is broken.
"The decision was taken years ago and has not taken into account the climate emergency. We should be able to go back and change it when it’s wrong.
"It’s good to see so many people coming together to make a difference.”
Outline planning permission was granted by the now-defunct Borough Council of Wellingborough to create ‘Route 2’ by widening the London Road roundabout as part of the £1bn Stanton Cross development. The trees, which date back to the Victorian era, are due to be cut down as part of this work.
A candlelit vigil was held under the trees yesterday.
An email sent by NNC’s monitoring officer Adele Wylie this morning, seen by the Northants Telegraph, said the council was bound by already-granted planning permission and could not prevent the removal of the trees.
It said: “I have received clear advice from my lawyers based upon all of the facts and documents that the council cannot and should not stop the developer.
“To do so would put the council at significant risk of legal challenge and financial consequences associated with that.”