A LONE tree overlooking one of the county’s most popular beaches remains to fight another day after a proposal to chop it down was refused.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planning committee discussed thoroughly a plan to remove a tree on Saundersfoot beach, which stands on a rocky outcrop and can be seen from both ends of the resort.

The tree, a Cupress macrocarpa – commonly known as Monterey cypress, has “high amenity value” according to National Park officers but is considered potentially unsafe following a tree survey.

However, Saundersfoot Community Council carried out its own survey and it was found that there was a number of ways the tree’s life could be prolonged, although these were likely to be expensive.

The community council objected to the plan, stating: “The council felt very strongly about the felling of this fantastic tree. It has been a part of the landscape for many, many years and is an enhancement to the village and a part of our history.”

Authority tree and landscape officer Mike Higgins surveyed the beachfront tree earlier this year, following an application to fell it from Mr C Hopkinson was submitted. It was unclear who owned the land.

The tree, which has tree preservation protection, was found to have several significant roots exposed with further soil erosion to be expected due to the nature of where it is.

Mr Higgins told the committee last week that the tree was rooted on a very small area.

“It will continue to grow and soil will continue to erode and the tree will become unstable. It’s a nice tree but unfortunately it’s outgrown its context for the long term,” he added.

He also considered a replacement unsuitable, which is often required when a tree is removed, as it would not have a long term future on such a small area.

Members had some concerns about if the tree was considered unsafe and they went against the recommendation to fell it would there be a liability if an accident occurred.

County council members Reg Owens and Tony Wilcox did not want to approve the proposal but give the community chance to step forward and save the tree.

Cllr Bob Kilmister added: "I'm against the application because we shouldn't give permission to someone who doesn't own the land to cut the tree down when there are people that want to keep it."