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Haverhill Elms Protected in Revised Scheme

Saturday, 24th March 2007.

Detailed work to safeguard valued elms fronting Haverhill Leisure Centre has taken place so the trees will not be felled if plans for a multiplex cinema are given the go-ahead.

Earlier this year, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Citygrove Securities Plc asked independent experts to carry out a survey of the elm trees as part of a joint planning application for a five-screen multiplex cinema on Ehringshausen Way. The survey showed that up to five of the 12 elms outside the Leisure Centre may be affected by the project.

Cllr Jeff Stevens, Chairman of the Haverhill Area Working Party, said:

“We were unhappy with the results of the tree survey as we have always been keen to protect these important elms, which are highly valued by people in Haverhill and further afield. As a result, we have spent the last two months carrying out further, detailed work to find a solution which safeguards the elm trees without compromising on the quality of the cinema scheme as a whole.”

Since St Edmundsbury received the survey in January, work has been taking place to amend the engineering of the cinema design to safeguard the elms without adversely affecting the overall cinema scheme. Changes have been made to the layout of the front car park, protecting three elm trees, while specific measures will be put in place during construction to safeguard a further two, which lie close to the proposed Subway shop. The other seven elm trees are not affected by the cinema proposal.

A method statement will now be prepared to outline in detail the measures which will be taken to protect the elms during construction. Officers will also recommend to the Development Control Committee that a condition relating to the protection of the elm trees should be written into planning consent, if it is granted.

Haverhill Online News

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