a tree being cut down with a chain saw
Credit: (Photo by Envato Elements licence)

AN ash tree described as posing a risk to a main road can be felled, a council has agreed. 

Andrew O’Donnell asked Torfaen Borogh Council for permission to fell the tree, which has been damaged due to an ash dieback infection, at Cwmavon Stables, Cwmavon Road in Blaenavon and said it posed a danger to the A4043 road. 

Planning officers said though the tree “contributes to the character and appearance” of the conservation area the health and safety risk outweighed any visual impact. 

It was also agreed any loss of the tree wouldn’t be detrimental to “the overall character and appearance” of the area because there are many surrounding trees. 

As a result the council said it wouldn’t make a tree protection order and as it couldn’t justify granting it protection it also couldn’t consider a replanting scheme requested by the council’s tree officer who said they otherwise had no objection. 

Mr O’Donnell has been reminded, as is standard, to contact Natural Resources Wales, or a an ecological consultant, if it is suspected bats are roosting in the tree and that he must contact the environment body and stop work immediately if they are found to be present. 

The council has also advised any vegetation clearance should be done outside of the bird breeding season, from the end of March to beginning of August. 

If vegetation must be cleared during the bird breeding season, a fully qualified ecologist should check for nesting birds beforehand. 

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