BARKING Up The Wrong Tree, Says Councillor

NO one could accuse Inverclyde councillors of not taking a root and branch approach when it comes to naming streets after trees.

The council's environment and regeneration committee showed remarkable thoroughness when called upon to decide whether a new road in the grounds of the former Broadstone House in Port Glasgow should be called Sycamore Lane.

The road will serve 19 houses and leads from Silver Birch Wynd. Other street names in the development by Muir Homes are Bramble Wynd, Briary Lane and Hollybush Lane.

The developer had suggested Sycamore Lane, following the theme of bushes and trees originally found within the grounds at Broadstone.

But Councillor Innes Nelson objected to the name. He said: "The sycamore is not an indigenous species to Scotland. It is a North American invasive thug. We should choose a plant indigenous to Scotland." It would be a bit like calling it Japanese Knotweed Lane, he said.

There was some debate over whether the existing street names in the estate all relate to native species but no agreement could be reached on that despite some rapid smart phone Googling.

Council leader Stephen McCabe commented that perhaps they were making a mountain out of a mole hill. More aptly, Councillor Math Campbell-Sturgess said the committee was in danger of not being able to see the wood for the trees.

The committee narrowly voted in favour of Sycamore Lane -- but the name faces one more hurdle after the councillors who voted against it twigged that they could exercise their right to have the matter considered again at the next full meeting of the council.

[UPDATE October 2015 -- Sycamore Lane also survived the full council vote]

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