Decision details

Chestnut Walk Improvements

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report seeking approval for improvement works to Chestnut Walk, consisting of removal of the existing Horse Chestnut trees and planting of a new avenue of Sweet Chestnut trees, new pedestrian lighting, installation of a new CCTV camera connected to the town centre network and resurfacing of the footpath in tarmac.


The report noted that Chestnut Walk was planted with an avenue of over mature horse chestnut trees.  An inspection in 2016 had revealed significant defects in a high proportion of the trees, including canker and fungal brackets; two trees had been felled and several others pruned.  In 2017 another tree had failed and had been removed. In summer 2018, prior to the re-opening of the Abbey Ruins, further deterioration had been noted, and after an inspection in winter 2018 four further trees had been felled. The remaining trees would continue to deteriorate and therefore a planned wholesale replacement was recommended to ensure this important pedestrian thoroughfare remained safe and attractive for public use.


The report recommended that the Horse Chestnuts be replaced with fourteen Sweet Chestnut trees, alongside a wider scheme to install lighting and a CCTV camera, and re-tarmac the surface.  This access route to the town centre would become more important as new housing developments were built on the former Homebase and other sites in the area.  The report set out a timeline for the project, which aimed to be complete before 3 April 2020.


Resolved –


(1)     That the forecast capital expenditure of £120k out of the total project cost of £160k to be spent in the current year (2019/20) be approved; 


(2)     That the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director for Environment & Commercial Services be authorised to procure and implement the works within the funding limits set out in the report;


(3)     That it be noted that advice from the Local Planning Authority was that the scheme would not require planning approval, but as the area was within the Schedule Monument of Reading Abbey Ruins it would require Schedule Monument Consent (SMC) from Historic England;


(4)     That the Assistant Director for Environment & Commercial Services be authorised to progress and submit the SMC application to seek approval from Historic England to carry out below ground works within the Schedule Monument;


(5)     That it be noted that tree removals works would be scheduled to take place in early February 2020 to implement the scheme.

Publication date: 08/11/2019

Date of decision: 26/09/2019

Decided at meeting: 26/09/2019 - Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: