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What will happen to Bury St Edmunds’ controversial tree sculptures?

Metal trees by the arc in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds
Metal trees by the arc in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds

A question mark still hangs over the future of two controversial metal trees removed from a Bury St Edmunds street more than a year ago.

The £20,000 stainless steel sculptures stood in St Andrew’s Street South for about a year – but were taken down last summer after being hit by vehicles.

They have not been seen since. Council bosses say they are still looking for a suitable new place for them, after road build-outs in the street were enlarged and planters installed.

The illuminated trees were funded through contributions from the developer of the arc shopping centre specifically for public art, but attracted some criticism.

Cllr David Nettleton, who voted against installing the trees, said he knew they would not work in St Andrew’s Street because they would get hit.

He called on St Edmundsbury Borough Council to “hold up their hands and say sorry we made a mistake”.

Cllr Clive Springett, who also voted against the trees, said: “I always felt it was best to put living trees in there. It would soften that area completely.

“In a way, I came to sort of almost like the trees. Like most things, you don’t notice them until suddenly they’re gone.

“I would not like to see the metal ones put into storage and never come out again.

“You’ve got to find the right place for them and I don’t think they were suited for that street.”

A St Edmundsbury Borough Council spokeswoman said repairs to the trees were paid for by vehicle insurers.

She said: “They are in secure storage while the matter of how and where they can be safely sited is investigated.”

The spokeswoman added: “The borough council is working with town centre partners to agree how they can best enhance the town and potential sites may emerge through the Bury Town Centre Masterplan process.

“The other issues being tackled include the presence of underground services and clearance, to protect the public and the trees.”

lWhat would you like to see happen to the trees? If you think you know a good spot for them, let us know. Email news@bury free press.co.uk

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