THE article on the (Skipton) Gateway Project (£7.8m Gateway project on track, Craven Herald, August 31) was very informative and, as was suggested, the project will be a ‘landmark’ project and will have a welcome transformational impact on the town.

The impact would be greater however if the 12 mature trees scheduled for removal were retained.

If the trees have been surveyed and some of them deemed to be potentially dangerous, then of course removing the dangerous ones would be very sensible. If on the other hand they are still healthy, why on earth remove them?

The trees are a wonderful landmark when emerging from the station and indeed when travelling down the street.

Planting 17 replacement trees in Airedale Park and a further 19 in and around the new development sounds good, but they will take a generation before they provide the benefits to the people of Skipton that these existing trees provide.

Why do the designers of this project want to remove these benefits from Skipton folk and especially the up and coming generations?

Now that we can place and prove the benefits that mature trees give us, removing them can be deemed to be a serious impact upon the quality of the public realm.

We need to be improving the calibre of the public realm of Skipton not weakening it. The people of Skipton deserve this!

I’m sure the designers of this project are well aware of these issues and should be designing viable futuristic urban design schemes not just churning out the same old same old.

I think Einstein hit the nail firmly on the head when he said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Please keep the trees!

Prof Dr Alan Simson

Emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Forestry

Leeds Beckett University

Chair White Rose Community Forest

Director European Forum on Urban Forestry