McGuinness publishes Council report obtained under Freedom of Information

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Sinn Féin local election candidate Conor D. McGuinness has welcomed the clarity contained in the report into the N25 Poplars commissioned by Waterford City and County Council. McGuinness obtained the report under Freedom of Information having called for it to be published in full in Autumn last year. Residents in Lisfennel Close and surrounding areas have voiced concerns about the trees for several years. Trees as tall as 30 metres are located next to houses and the report refers to ‘a history of tree failure’.

McGuinness said:

“I welcome the clarity that this report finally brings to the situation affecting homeowners in Lisfennel Close and nearby areas, who have literally been living under the shadow of these trees for many years. Some of the trees adjacent to the Dungarvan GAA grounds and Lisfennel Close reach heights of 30 metres, and there is a very real concern that severe storms of the kinds experienced in recent years could result in trees falling on houses. The report states that many of the trees have bacterial canker and are already in a weak or damaged state.

“The report accepts that the trees are not suitable for the area and notes ‘a history of tree failure’. It also refers to the impact the trees are having on footpaths, fences and paving. It notes the potential impact of root encroachment on properties adjacent to the road.

“Residents had previously warned of the dangers to house foundations due to root encroachment. The report recommends the felling of the Poplars adjacent to Lisfennel Close due to their weakened condition, the impact of their roots and the danger they pose to nearby homes.

“No one takes the felling of trees lightly, and it is appropriate that a report of this type has been conducted. Trees play a crucial role in our environment, taking carbon from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen. Communities must be consulted in all cases and there must be a sound case before tree-felling is considered. I am disappointed that residents were not kept informed of developments and that it took my freedom of information request to bring these findings to light. As a candidate I have made community consultation an integral part of my election pitch and if elected I will make sure it becomes a priority at council level.

“This report brings clarity to the situation and backs up the views put forward by residents. The Poplar trees along the N25 are putting people in danger and are coming to the end of their life. I have published the report on my website in the public interest. It can be viewed by clicking here