A council has dropped controversial plans to carve trees into bizarre ‘street art’ sculptures after a public outcry – led by TV’s Kirstie Allsopp.
TV property guru Kirstie took to Twitter to brand Plymouth City Council “so wrong” after officials revealed a wacky bid to chop the tops of healthy trees.
The remaining two-metre stumps were to be transformed into miniature carvings of local landmarks.
Council officials say the twelve offending trees are blocking out light, dislodging paving stones with their vast roots and getting in the way of CCTV in the city’s Cornwall Street.
Removing the canopies from twelev trees would slow the growth of the roots while allowing extra room for the remaining trees.
But the plan came under attack from conservationists and art lovers who said the modern art would be vastly inferior to the existing greenery.
Among them was Location, Location, Location host Kirstie, who took to Twitter to slate the plans.
The presenter, 42, who has homes in Devon and London, told her more than 335,600 followers: “So wrong, and happening more & more.
“May be all sorts of reasons for cutting down city centre trees, but I see too much of this in the UK and our default position should be not to chop.”
Plymouth City Council and the City Centre Company revealed they were dropping the plan in the face of public anger.
City Centre manager Stefan Krause said: “In managing a city centre destination it’s really important to take into account visitor and residents’ views.
“A shopping environment is incredibly important to businesses and in attracting visitors, and the proposals were originally designed to address feelings from traders and the police that the trees cause light and safety issues.
“But we’ve listened to public opinion and the plans will not go ahead.
“We will work in partnership with the Council on an alternative solution to address the concerns of traders and the police.
“We are committed to ensuring the city centre remains a green and pleasant place to shop and visit.”
PCQ Arts and Flameworks, two Plymouth-based art groups, led the opposition with a joint Facebook page and a petition that garnered nearly 500 names.
Peter Davey, creative director of PCQ Arts, said: “If they consulted not just with artists but the public alike, this could have been avoided.
“It is not just artists who were angry. People were dead against it including retailers.
“I did not see how it would help regenerate that area.”