Campaign to save trees as Patisserie Valerie signs deal
The owners of the Montague Quarter have responded to a campaign to save the trees outside TK Maxx, which will be cut down to make way for Patisserie Valerie.
Demonstrators have been seen outside the 60-year-old sycamore trees in recent days after it was announced the café chain had signed a deal to move to Worthing as part of a wider scheme to turn Montague Place into a restaurant quarter.
Planning permission was granted at a Worthing Borough Council meeting last year where the future of the trees was debated.
A placard saying ‘Patisserie Valerie, please don’t kill our trees’ and ‘#treesnotcake’ had also been tied to the trees, with many residents joining in on social media.
The Worthing Society has also commissioned an alternative kiosk design which they say could preserve the trees.
They also suggested the café moved into a vacant shop site instead. Chairman Susan Belton said they were ‘not trying to thwart anybody’ but felling the trees ‘is a step too far’: “It is a conservation area and the trees are part of that. Although we are a conservation society at the same time we do welcome regeneration in the town to create employment.
“The development has been given planning consent but we are urging them to step back to look at any alternatives.”
A spokesperson from NewRiver, which owns the Montague Quarter and submitted the planning application, said ‘an independent report by a horticultural specialist’ found the trees had a limited lifespan and that their roots were causing ‘significant’ damage underground and to surrounding buildings.
A spokesman said: “We want to assure the residents of Worthing that there is a scheme of replanting in place involving four semi mature trees, which will be planted in a subterranean container, meaning that they will stand alongside the transformed Montague Quarter for the community to enjoy for many years to come.”