THE FIRST open meeting of the South Pond Group has been met with anger after a mature willow tree has been destroyed.
The meeting was attended by more than 40 people at St Ann’s Hall in Midhurst.
The felling of the mature willow tree joins a number of other trees which have been chopped down as developments began for the new Grange Leisure Centre development several weeks ago.
Graham Ault of the South Pond Group said: “Anger would be the best way to describe the reaction. I am trying to be reasonable but I cannot see why this happened.
“It is not necessary as part of the new development. The groups frustrated because it would be nice to be told why these things are necessary before someone comes along and chops something down.”
Mr Ault said that he couldn’t see why something situated behind the fence was considered to be a problem with the building of the new leisure centre development.
“People are going to be upset, these things need to be discussed,” he said.
“Those at the meeting were very sad and very shocked as a group. We are very disappointed that nobody took the trouble to talk about the need to do it. There is a lot of anger from the group and through the people that came to the meeting.”
A Chichester District Council spokesperson says: “Unfortunately, it has been necessary for some trees to be removed in order to proceed with the new leisure and community centre development in Midhurst. This was outlined in the initial planning application. However, we have made sure that there will be additional tree planting as part of the landscaping of the site.