A West Lothian mum has been allowed keep a memorial tree she planted in tribute to her late son in a Livingston street.
A petition was raised when Natasha MacDonald thought the tree would have to be moved following a complaint.
She had planted it on October 1, which would have been her son Kurt’s 21st birthday. He was knocked down by a hit-and-run driver in 2007.
The petition gathered over 3000 signatures.
Ms MacDonald said she was “overwhelmed at the outcome”.
She added: “The memorial was put in place for what would have been his 21st birthday. And this meant the absolute world to me.
“Everyone who raised a toast that night are the same people who have been through this ordeal with me since 2007
“I do understand the land belongs to the council. This is where my little boy took his last steps, got up to mischief and made memories, very happy ones.”
Ms MacDonald also thanked her ‘dream team’, including the McLean family and Mari McFadden, and other friends and neighbours for their help and support, as well as local councillors Frank Anderson and Damian Doran-Timson.
Councillor Anderson said: “This group of residents had already transformed their street by cutting the grass, planting flowers, erecting ornaments and a spectacular flamingo island concept.
“It is admired by everyone. People even come from outwith Craigshill to view their efforts.
“It was really disappointing to hear that the council were threatening to remove the tree. On behalf of the residents, I raised their objections and we have managed to persuade the council to leave the tree alone.
“We pointed out that this was a unique situation, didn’t fall under the council policy for kerbside memorials and if it was moved to the other side of the footpath, the council would look like idiots for taking it from one piece of ground to another only yards away.
“Thankfully, the council agreed with us and everybody is happy. Common sense has prevailed and the residents will ensure that the tree and surrounding area is well maintained.
“I appreciate the efforts of officers in finding a satisfactory solution to this issue.”
One resident in Ash Grove had complained about the memorial tree. Council policy is against roadside memorials.
A council spokesman said the local authority recognised sensitivities and it was never its intention to force removal of the tree: “As we have made clear, nobody has been forced to remove the memorial and we have at no point ‘threatened’ to remove the memorial.
“Nobody has therefore persuaded the council not to remove the memorial. There is therefore no change at this time to the council’s position.”
By local democracy reporter Stuart Sommerville