AN OAK tree in Tadley has been saved from destruction, after the borough council confirmed it will not go ahead with proposed felling.

The historic tree, on New Road, was controversially being considered for removal last month by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which cited residents reporting subsistence damage to nearby properties.

However, one such resident later spoke out in dispute of this, telling the Gazette that any benefit of removing the oak tree passed several years ago, and that he had not requested its removal.

The proposal was also met by a lot of opposition by members of the community, who set up a petition to save the "magnificent" tree.

The petition gained more than 900 signatures, and led to the council’s decision not to remove the tree after all.

A borough council spokesperson said: “We oversee the management of over 80,000 trees on Borough Council land and our primary objective is to protect, maintain and enable the trees on our land to flourish. We must also consider additional factors including any detrimental impacts on others while carrying out our role.

“This oak tree in New Road is a mature tree and we fully appreciate its significance which is why we went to local residents to ask for their views on a proposed solution to resolve the issue of the impact of the tree on neighbouring properties.

“During the 10-day consultation period we received a high number of responses through a petition, comments on social media, letters, telephone calls and emails. The overwhelming response from the public was that the tree should remain. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute their views and we are pleased to confirm that in light of all of the feedback the oak tree will not be felled.”

Many residents took to social media to celebrate the news.

One campaigner wrote: “I am so, so happy that BDBC have done the right thing and will leave this irreplaceable oak tree alone. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition, wrote to BDBC or to the tree officer. Nearly 1000 signatures on the petition before it was closed. Don't ever think you can't make a difference, fight for what you believe in. Thank you Carol Monaghan for starting the petition and getting us together. Together, WE SAVED THE NEW ROAD OAK.”

Another added: “For once the Council has seen sense, and taken the views of residents into account and have not taken a "knee jerk" reaction by thinking that simply removing this old oak tree would solve the problem. Well done everyone who helped save this tree!”

A third said: “I'm so happy, a huge thank you to all the amazing people from Tadley and beyond for all your support.”