Hyde, who are building some of the more hideous redevelopments of flats in Bermondsey Spa, are cutting down part of an avenue of perfectly health mature Plane trees planted on Spa Road by the Victorian philanthropist Dr Alfred Salter for the benefit of the people of the area.
Unbelievably there appears to be no preservation order for them.
During the Spa Road development "consultation" period we were told the trees would be safe and more would be planted. Now the first thing they do is cut them down.
Only one has been taken so far. According to Oliver Stutter, Senior Arboricultural Officer for Southwark, four more are to be felled to make way for the flats.
Does anyone know how to stop this or how to get a tree preservation order?
One would have thought that Oliver Stutter, as a council employee who has been responsible for planting trees all round the borough where there were none before, would have been fighting this on behalf of the public. Isn't that part of his job?
Hyde Housing Association is developing site D, the old factory site between the railway viaduct and the Neckinger Estate to provide new homes. Hyde held two exhibitions in June 2005 to look at what the homes, public spaces and play areas on and around the site could look like. Now they need you to provide comments and feedback on more detailed proposals before they are submitted for planning.
Wednesday 21 September 3pm to 8pm
Neckinger tenants association hall
BTW Dr Alfred Salter wasn't a Victorian philanthopist - he was the Independent Labour MP for Bermondsey from 1922
DR SALTER 1873-1945
Alfred Salter studied medicine at Guy's Hospital and set up in practice in Bermondsey in 1900. He and his wife Ada became involved in local government and politics in an attempt to improve conditions for the poor of the area. Alfred was elected to the council in 1903 and became Bermondsey's MP in 1922. Ada became the first woman counillor in 1910 and Mayor of Bermondsey in 1922. The area around Wilson Grove was rebuilt in 1928 with garden-city cottages to their ideas. Dr Salter set up a health service for Bermondsey 20 years before the National Health Service. Sadly his 9 year old daughter Joyce died of Scarlet Fever. The statue group of the family by Diane Gorvin has been relocated near the Angel Inn (see walk route). The flower garden in Southwark Park is named after Ada Salter
Dr Alfred Salter was born during the Victorian era and did huge good works for the poor of Bermondsey and local areas and all you say is true. Describing him as a Victorian Philanthropist is short hand for all that, not to mention the huge contribution from his wife Ada, and untimely death of their much loved daughter. You don't have to be rich to be a philanthropist, but my goodness it helps.
I spoke to Oliver Stutter today and he says that Hyde already have planning permission to destroy four trees on Spa Road. He says this cannot be stopped. I understand that the trees have to be removed because the roots are taking up space required for the foundations of the new buildings which are very tall and very hideous.
As the trees are already being felled this would planning permission for the development must have been granted and the consultation with the locals is an academic excercise.
Oliver Stutter tells me stree trees are cannot be protected by preservation orders because they are part of the highway. Does anyone know if this is true?
I would post photgraphs of the stump of the tree they have felled so far and the three they are going to kill but I can't figure out how to do it on this site. I wish I could show you as all of this is right in front of the lovely old St James church and it is a crying shame.
"Local Authority Land
2.12 LPAs may make TPOs in respect of their own trees or trees under their control. "
The same document also says "5.5 Whether or not specific tree policies are included in development plans, the effect of a proposed development on trees and other landscape features is a material consideration. The Act places a duty on LPAs, where appropriate, to ensure they make adequate provision for the preservation and planting of trees when granting planning permission by imposing conditions and making TPOs"
I cannot do italics here but in the original the word "duty" is italicised for emphasis. Clear enough, I think.
I went down the planning office this week and after about an hour of insisting I finally got to see the files.
Hyde got planning permission at the beginning of 2005 for site H and E opposite St James church at the end of Spa Road.
They did not mention that their development would neccesitate cutting down part of the avenue of Dr Salter's Plane trees at the top of Spa road. They didn't show the trees on the plans, just their replacements so you'd have to know how many were there beforehand to spot they'd been left off.
The 12 story building is so close to the road the trees, which are right on the road side of the narrow pavement, are in the way. In the original planning application Hyde say only in relation to the trees: Details of the means by which the existing mature plane trees along Spa Road are to be protected/retained (unless otherwise agreed in writing with the council) and goes on to talk about protecting them from damage during the building process and how they are going to be careful of the roots etc. when building walls.
Then in July they made an application in writing to the Council, which apparently they didn't need to tell anyone about because of the clause in the original application above, to cut them down and Oliver Stutter rolled over and said "fine, no problem go ahead on".
I was e-mailing Iain McPherson of Hyde Housing about it who was all very helpful and "We'll see what we can do, I've told our contractors to stop cutting the trees down while we look at options" ,but when I went round the corner half an hour later another two trees were reduced to stumps so a bit of forked tongue stuff there it seems.