Fall-out looks set to run on as Aberdeen residents hit out at council for response to removed greenery

Residents of an Aberdeen community have raised concerns over the handling of the first Great Aberdeen Run.

The event, which took place last month, saw around 8,000 runners at the starting line on Union Street.

Residents in Old Aberdeen took issue with the handling of the event, which saw a tree, shrubbery and bollards removed without the community’s consultation.

An image from 2014 shows multiple trees at the location. Source: Google Maps.

Aberdeen City Council also claimed only one tree was removed while residents said it was two.

However, in previous statements, the council have said were there multiple trees.

In August a spokeswoman said: “Aberdeen City Council officers removed an island, trees and shrubs from Don Street.”

One resident, Eric Kiltie, said: “It’s a real shame that what should have been a landmark event and something that the community should have shared some pride in, Aberdeen City Council’s engagement with the community, in terms of planning and telling us what was really going on, is really textbook in terms of how not to do something.

“What it’s done is take something that should have been celebrated and caused a huge amount of resentment.

“The issue I have a real big deal with is the removal of the trees between Don Street and Cheyne Road.”

Last month Aberdeen City Council pledged to reinstate anything removed, however, has erected black and white rubber barriers and a layer of soil over tarmac so it can be lifted up to allow the race to take place again.

Another resident suggested the views of the community should be considered, and said replanting the trees would be “the least you could do to make amends for the community who have lost their trees”.

Old Aberdeen councillor Ross Grant said: “I’d rather see some large planters put there that are very weighty and can be used for floral displays.”

In reply, Mr Kiltie said: “I accept that as being a possible option but let’s not lose sight of the fact that two mature and established trees were destroyed and trees that provided food and cover for a number of bird species and gave pleasure to a number of people.

“If it’s considered that planters might be a better option, those two trees need to be replaced perhaps on another site and that selection has to be very careful to be the species of those trees.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “Our tree planting programme takes place between November and March and we will aim to replant the tree in Old Aberdeen that was removed for the successful Great Aberdeen Run as one of the first in this year’s tree-planting programme.”

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