Protesters’ joy at tree decision

wet  Scoles villagers with the Coronation Tree which they are hoping will be added to the conservation area.  (120118M1a)

wet Scoles villagers with the Coronation Tree which they are hoping will be added to the conservation area. (120118M1a)

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Indignant Scholes villagers have succeeded in their bid to get the historic Coronation Tree included in the draft Conservation Area for their community.

Responding to strong local opinion backing the need for the tree to be protected, Leeds City Council’s conservation officer has agreed to reverse his earlier decision to exclude it on grounds that the tree ‘has little historical importance.’

The U-turn also follows intervention on behalf of concerned villagers by Coun Matthew Robinson (Conservative, Harewood), a Barwick and Scholes representative on Leeds City Council.

He told the Wetherby News this week: “This is great news for the people of Scholes, who have enormous strength of feeling about the historical importance of the Coronation Tree.”

Coun Robinson said he had spoken to Matthew Bentley, the city council’s Senior Conservation Officer, who confirmed that the tree will now be included in the draft Conservation Area.

This will go out to public consultation next month before being submitted to the Plans Panel for approval.

At the latest parish council meeting Scholes residents voiced their anger at the threat to leave the tree unprotected, especially in view of proposals to build up to 3,500 new homes in the area.

The landmark lime tree, planted in 1928, is located on a landscaped traffic island at the junction of Leeds Road with Station Road, Scholes.

An oak was originally planted there in 1903 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward the Seventh.