Burnley town centre trees face the axe

Artist's impression of how Burnley town centre would look after the regeneration work

Artist's impression of how Burnley town centre would look after the regeneration work

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Some street trees in Burnley town centre will be felled soon and replaced by new ones later this year as the council’s £3 million town centre refurbishment moves into a new phase.

The council says some trees are in poor health or are too large and mature for their location, and in some cases are damaging paving and the area surrounding them.

They will be replaced with new more suitable mature street trees which will be planted around the pedestrianised area under a scheme to make the shopping centre more attractive.

The tree work will be carried out in phases. The first phase will cover The Mall, Curzon Street and part of St James Street. The work is being carried out now in order to avoid affecting any wildlife and to establish utility service positions. New trees will be planted in late autumn.

Councillor Tony Harrison, Burnley Council’s executive member for community services, said: “Many of the trees in the town centre have grown too large for their surroundings and despite pruning and maintenance over the years the time has come to replace them with younger trees better suited to a busy shopping centre.

“They will help make the town centre more attractive to residents and visitors alike.”

County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Trees provide a vital function in the town centre, and make for a more welcoming environment, with benefits that include improving air quality, dampening noise, and providing a habitat for wildlife.

“This phase of the refurbishment will ensure the trees in Burnley town centre are in keeping with the other improvements being made to paving and street furniture, in good health, and can be managed more easily.”

This work is being managed by tree specialists from Burnley Council and Lancashire County Council.

The regeneration scheme, which is being joint funded by the two authorities, aims to make the pedestrianised area of St James Street, between Hammerton Street and Hall St, much more attractive and provide a better shopping experience for shoppers, visitors, businesses and anyone who lives and works in the town.

The work will include new paving, new street furniture such as benches and decorative lighting, and a revised ”town square” area for future events such as food markets and other activities.