Town council to refuse memorial tree requests

Trees on Church Street, Dereham

Trees on Church Street, Dereham - Credit: Google Streetview

A town council has decided to knock back bids to plant memorial trees for fear it will come under fire if they end up damaged.

At a meeting of Dereham Council’s heritage and open spaces committee, members discussed what stance to take when faced with requests to plant memorial trees.

Town clerk Tony Needham said: “We used to allow people to put memorial benches up at various places.

“Then we had an issue a few years ago when a bench got vandalised... and we were seen as the ones at fault.”

Mr Needham explained that the council had therefore stopped accepting memorial benches, but in the last few months had received three requests for people to plant memorial trees instead.

Phillip Duigan, Dereham town councillor. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Philip Duigan, chair of Dereham Town Council's heritage and open spaces committee - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

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Councillors agreed that if permission were given for such trees, there would be a risk of being blamed by people with a personal connection to them for not preventing vandalism or clumsy handling by contractors.

Committee chair Philip Duigan said however that the decision would not be “set in stone” and that the rule could be reconsidered at another time.

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