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Leisure centre withdraws tree felling plans


Published in the Portsmouth News on Tuesday 14th February 2012

CONCERNS about the loss of trees has prompted a leisure centre to have a rethink on controversial sign plans.

Horizon Leisure Centre had sought permission from Havant Borough Council to fell two large ash and London plane trees because they obscured the signs on the side of its building, in Civic Centre Road, Havant.

In the summer months the signs are completely covered up by leaves and branches.

Although the application was approved by the cabinet last year green campaigners and councillors called for the decision to be looked at by a separate scrutiny panel.

That panel concluded that it must go back to the cabinet for reconsideration but the Leisure Centre withdrew its proposals before the meeting.

Howard Board, chief executive of Horizon Leisure Centres, said: ‘Having reviewed the situation and taking into account the significant councillor and public reaction to felling the trees we have decided to withdraw our application at this time.

‘As a community-based company we have listened to the views of the community and are prepared to consider an alternative signage plan that will meet the business’ marketing aims and avoid the need to fell the trees.

‘We have already discussed the options with the council and a revised application will be submitted for consideration in due course.’

The ash tree was donated to the Horizon in the early 1980s by the anti-smoking charity Ash.

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