LABOUR councillor Brian Smedley has dubbed the cutting down of trees on the Brewery Field site as a ‘Treemageddon’.
At this week’s meeting of Sedgemoor District Council – which approved plans for improvements to the field – he criticised the sudden deforestation of the site which took people by surprise earlier this month.
The green space in Bridgwater town centre will be given a new lease of life over the next 12 months as part of a £15m regeneration scheme for the area.
Sedgemoor council is spearheading the development of the Northgate site on Mount Street, providing a new seven-screen cinema, gym, bowling alley and restaurants.
The new-look Brewery Field will include better play facilities and an improved pedestrian and cycle path to form part of the town’s Celebration Mile. A more meandering path will also be created through the centre of the field, following the course of the former railway line into the town centre.
Work is expected to begin on the wider Northgate site on April 6, with the Brewery Fields improvements due to get under way from June 7.
To allow the new landscaping to establish itself, the field will be completely closed for 12 months after this date, with the entire Northgate project expected to be completed in June 2022.
Cllr Smedley, leader of Bridgwater Town Council, said: “We have supported this project since the decision was taken to end the Tesco megastore scheme and to work to the town council and the Labour group’s specifications of a way forward – that it’s complementary to the town centre, that it’s a leisure-led project, and that there is a retention and upgrade of green space.
“So, we welcome the fact that it has reached this stage in the process and support the recommendation in particular noting that the leisure centre aspect won’t open until the brewery field has been enhanced.
“But we really need no more carnage such as the Treemageddon we saw earlier this month without alternatives being sought. Where there are none we need a clear programme of even greater replanting.”
- Bridgwater Town Council produced a ‘Treeflet’ just before Christmas which identified 50 important trees in the Westover ward. Three have since been chopped down. The Treeflets are available from the Sweetbox on Bridgwater’s Cornhill or from the town council.