One of Bury St Edmunds’ controversial stainless steel trees appears to have wilted.
The tree outside L’Occitane in St Andrew’s Street South has either fallen victim to stainless steel die-back disease, or a reversing large vehicle over the weekend.
Its misfortune has been met with as much difference of opinion as the installation of the two £20,000 sculptures, created by Nigel Kaines, back in June.
St Edmundsbury Borough councillor Paul Hopfensperger, a strong critic of the street’s layout and the trees Tweeted ‘looks expensive’ and posted a picture of himself with it.
He said today: “I said I’d give two or three weeks before one of those trees was hit – well I wasn’t far out was I?
“Once they were in, they looked quite nice but the street has been designed so that there is a distinct separation between the footpath and the road, which in a true shared-space scheme there shouldn’t be. At the moment, these trees are clearly standing in the road, and are bound to get hit.
“You can’t keep doing that road piecemeal, it needs to be designed, it needs an urban designer. It needs to be either pedestrianised or shared space.”
OurBuryStEdmunds chief executive Mark Cordell thought it was a shame the tree had been damaged.
“I think the trees enhance the street, particularly when lit, and they’ve been there a few months with no problems.”
But he described the street as ‘a compromise’.
“It is what it is – a service road that businesses back onto, but in my view it has too many different vehicles going in there, with buses, taxis and deliveries.”
He said OurBuryStEdmunds was working with Bury in Bloom and the councils to try to improve it.
What happened to the tree is a mystery. Staff at the arc said their CCTV had not picked up anything.