PLANS to chop down just one problem tree in Brynmawr will be decided by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Councillors.

At a planning meeting on Thursday, September 2, councillors will look at an application by Daniel Phillips of Alma Terrace, Brynmawr to remove a Sycamore tree at his home.

The Sycamore is covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

A TPO is used to protect trees where removing it would have a significant impact on the environment and its enjoyment by the public.

According to the planning report the tree’s root system is damaging a wall, steps, and gate at the property.

Healthy trees protected by TPO should not be chopped down, but an argument for its removal can be made if it’s causing structural damage.

Planning case officer, Justin Waite explained in his report: “The site relates to the front garden of the residential property known as Endsleigh located on the corner of the junction between Alma Terrace and Darren Felin Road.

“As a result, the boundary wall has become unstable, and the site has been secured via fencing which has been in place since October 2019.

“The applicant has also advised that Welsh Water has had to carry out works to the sewer due to a blockage caused by the tree’s roots.”

As part of the consultation process one of the Brynmawr ward county councillors, has backed felling the tree.

Their comments were included in the planning report, they that: the tree: “is far too large for its position” and if no action is taken it’s “just a matter of time” before the wall collapses, which could cause injury to passers-by.

Mr Waite said: “The structural damage to the boundary wall is not in dispute with the movement in the wall most likely to be the result of physical pressure exerted by the tree’s root system. it is accepted that the wall will need to be demolished, at least in part and rebuilt.”

Mr Waite explains that if the Sycamore stays there, moving the boundary wall at least two metres way from its present condition has been mooted as a solution.

However, this presents another problem, as the solution would put the wall in the nearby road.

The council’s highways engineers have already indicated that they would object to this proposal.

Mr Waite added: “The council’s arboricultural officer has therefore raised an objection to the proposed felling of the sycamore tree on the basis that it is of substantial amenity value within the local area.”

The arboricultural officer has also stated that the tree is healthy and should not be lost.

Mr Waite says in his report says that the arboriculture officer believes there are “alternative engineering solutions” that would solve the issue.

Examples of this include bridging the tree roots with a lintel in a newly-built wall and installing a root bridge where the roots are in conflict with steps/paving.

Due to this, Mr Waite recommends councillors refuse the application.