Assurances on memorial trees

Parish coun Terry Murray(left) and  Len Morton chairman of Easington Village parish coun pictured at one of the trees that has had a plaque removed.
Parish coun Terry Murray(left) and Len Morton chairman of Easington Village parish coun pictured at one of the trees that has had a plaque removed.

Civic chiefs have assured that no trees will be felled during the development of former council offices and that memorial plaques presumed missing are in safe storage.

Easington Village parish councillors raised concerns that the plaques on trees at the former District of Easington council offices may have gone missing.

Parish councillorTerry Murray also feared that protected trees at the site may be felled to make way for any potential housing on the site.

He said: “In the grounds of the council offices in Seaside Lane, there are about a dozen trees that were dedicated in memory of people who have worked for the council, and former council chairmen.

“There are little plinths at the side of each tree and there were some plaques on them.

“The plaques disappeared and the police didn’t know about it and the parish council didn’t know where they were and no one at the county council seemed to know where they were.”

In recent weeks, Durham county councillor for Easington, Coun David Boyes, confirmed that the plaques are with the site foreman.

He said the parish council planned to apply for a protection order for the trees.

Stuart Timmiss, the county council’s head of planning and assets, said: “No trees will be removed during the demolition of the site. The proposed developer has submitted a planning application which will retain the tree line. The memorial garden will also be retained within the development, so no trees will be removed. The memorial plaques were removed and stored for safe keeping before demolition began and will be reinstated when it is appropriate.”