North Tyneside Council has reassured residents that the removal of trees as part of the Northumberland Square development is not a decision they have taken lightly.
The square is being developed as part of the Ambition for North Shields and the Fish Quay regeneration masterplan.
It is hoped that by returning the square back to its traditional Georgian layout, the space will be more suitable for events in the future.
However, some residents have shared concerns online over the loss of green space and how the new square might not be as suitable for children.
In a statement provided to NewcastleWorld, North Tyneside Council sought to reassure locals that decisions over the development hadn't been taken lightly.
John Sparkes, Director of Regeneration and Economic Development said the decision had been taken after a study showed it to be a necessary move for biodiversity.
He said: “The redevelopment of Northumberland Square is a key part of our ambitious plans to improve and transform North Shields, breathing new life into the town centre, linking it to the iconic Fish Quay and providing the right environment to support businesses, leisure users and retail.
"Increasing tree coverage is a key element of the Council’s ambitions of being carbon net-zero by 2030, and we do not take the decision to remove trees lightly.
"Following a tree management exercise it was found that unfortunately the trees in Northumberland Square had grown too dense and have prevented additional planting areas from being developed for many years.
"We therefore made the decision to remove a number of trees from this area in order to future proof/enable more trees to grow and create the space for new trees to be planted.
"Going forward, we plan to restore Northumberland Square back to its original Georgian design and layout, sympathetic to its heritage and roots whilst enabling a significant enhancement in the net-biodiversity of the park, with a significant number of new plants and shrubs to be planted.
"The new Square design will better accommodate family-friendly festivals, events and leisure activities for residents and visitors to enjoy, such as the Victorian Christmas Market which successfully returned in 2021.
“We are proud to be a listening Council and we appreciate the thoughts and concerns of our residents and we are committed to working with residents, business and our communities throughout the regeneration of North Shields.
"I would like to encourage anyone who has thoughts on our plans to contact us at [email protected]”