Following the removal of 27 trees at Chichester College in August, Principal Helen Loftus has shared the below statement.
Helen said: “Throughout the summer, the college has undergone some essential maintenance work. This has included a project of work to improve lighting and safety in the rear car park.
“We have received feedback from staff that some people were beginning to feel unsafe in the car park at night – especially in the autumn and winter months.
“To address this, the college has invested in new energy-saving LED lighting and the installation of enhanced CCTV cameras. To ensure this works effectively to illuminate the car park, 27 trees were removed.
“We have already planted 14 saplings with another 16 already scheduled to be planted, although we appreciate these will not be fully grown for a number of years, and we are committed to maintaining our tree stock levels.
“As such, we will also be planting some trees at other locations on the campus. We will be able to provide information about this over the coming weeks.
“We do take the wellbeing and health of our 180 trees across the college very seriously, and, as such, we maintain a significant financial investment into keeping our current trees healthy and regularly carry out comprehensive surveys of our trees.
“We would like to apologise whole-heartedly to our staff and students, and to our local community, that we didn’t share this information in advance. This was, we regret, a mistake but one we will learn from.
“We would also like to thank our local tree wardens for getting in contact with their concerns, and we would look forward to arranging to meet with them to set up a much closer working relationship to ensure we are doing the best we can for our area.”