A GROUP of residents in Nelson were left 'elated' after Pendle Council's decision to plant fruit trees on a nearby recreation ground was overturned.

In June, the Lancashire Telegraph reported how 84 people living on or around Ringstone Crescent, Nelson, had vigorously opposed plans to plant 600 fruit trees on the land - citing potential 'cover for drug dealers', 'leaves clogging gutters' and 'feeling unsafe around so many trees' as reasons to prevent the mass planting.

The group met with local councillors to express their dismay at a 'lack of consultation' and having debated the action for several months, the council have now U-turned on their earlier decision.

Spokesperson for the group, Pauline Shaw, said: "All the residents of Ringstone Crescent are extremely happy and relieved that our battle with Pendle Council is now well and truly over.

"It has been such a terrible time for all of us, wondering what the outcome would be, but we were thankfully all able to enjoy a very, very, happy Christmas.

"Back in October 2020, a motion was passed by Pendle Council to plant 600 fruit trees on our green open space as there had been no objections received.

"We, the residents of Ringstone Crescent, sprang into action on hearing of this in May 2021 and hijacked our local councillors monthly residents’ meeting, following which we attended the Nelson, Brierfield and Reedley Committee meeting on the June 7 when we argued that as there had been no interaction with us on the matter it should never have been passed in the first place.

"In the meantime, we had received several letters of objection to the plan and got a petition signed. All of the councillors were also lobbied and in the end they agreed to carry out the long overdue consultation which took place in August, by which time we had also obtained a copy of the title deeds from the Land Registry.

"On the November 25, we again attended a meeting at the Town Hall, this one being the Policies and Resources Committee who have the final say in these matters.

"We again put our case to them and the result was that "the very reluctant officer view is that the council should not proceed with it in the face of such opposition.

"When the result was announced there was a very big cheer from the public gallery where several residents were sitting."

Pendle Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 to 'support urgent action to tackle global warming and the effects of climate change'.

The Climate Emergency Working group developed a plan which included increasing the number of trees in Pendle.

Rose Rouse, chief executive of Pendle Council, said: "We identified a number of sites across the borough which are suitable for tree planting, including Ringstone Crescent in Nelson.

"We've listened to the community about their concerns and how they use the space and no longer plan to plant fruit trees in the area."