PARISH councillors have debated the potential danger posed by a number of large trees in the grounds of a community centre.

Members of Hurworth Parish Council discussed the risks of ash trees in the grounds of Hurworth Grange Community Centre at their recent meeting.

Local resident Geoffrey Scott had written to Hurworth Community Association (HCA) to air his concerns about the trees, which he says are a danger to his and his neighbours’ nearby properties.

The meeting heard that a large ash tree had fallen over the Christmas period, but fortunately came down in the grounds, rather than on properties.

Keith Sandick, manager of HCA has contacted Darlington Borough Council tree specialist Phil Haynes, to arrange a survey of the trees and take advice on their future.

Parish councillor John Howard will take a watching brief on this issue, as the parish council’s tree representative.

Members agreed that parish clerk Peter Allan should write to HCA recommending that a survey be taken of all the trees in the Grange, to ensure that they are fully covered for insurance and to identify any work that needs to be done.

The last survey was carried out in 2006.

Mr Scott said he would like to see the trees trimmed, rather than chopped down, as this would reduce the risk they pose and be of benefit to the trees themselves.