THE battle to save a cedar tree is proving a thorn in the side of plans for a £5.3m restoration of Chester’s Grosvenor Park.
Dee Hills Park resident Janet Davies told the Town Hall Executive that many people had not realised plans for a new pavilion would involve felling the tree.
“The cedar would be killed in order to provide a cafe,” in the words of Boughton Cllr Bob Rudd (Lab) who was approached by Mrs Davies and by Jo Pryke, also of Dee Hills Park.
“Both these ladies came to see me and asked for my support to save the magnificent tree,” said Cllr Rudd.
“The cafe can be resited so as to save the cedar and be in a position that will serve the community better.”
Mrs Davies told the executive: “I suggest a better site about 50 yards away on the northern edge of the park backing onto Union Street.
“The cafe would revitalise an area of the park which is underused.”
Landscape manager Angela Simpson told the executive: “We appreciate it would be a great sacrifice to lose the tree.”
But she emphasised the project was not yet complete and there will be further opportunities for consultation.
Town Hall sources say they have met many people who understand why the council has suggested the location for the cafe and back the proposals.
The Friends of Grosvenor Park residents’ group has been heavily involved with the project and is said to be “very supportive”.
The total cost of improvements to the park has been estimated at £5.3m of which the city council would be expected to find £2.2m.
An application is due at the end of the month for £250,000 which would enable the proposals to be developed for the final bid of £3.2m.
The council says it has already secured almost £800,000 in funding and has listed where the remaining £1.5m would come from.