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Tree Vandals- shock horror!

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Wednesday 30 November 2005 12.47pm
This is another terrible tale of horrible St.George.
As most of you who peruse this forum know, St.George have been trying to get a sixteen storey block onto the car parking area of Metro Central Heights, opposite the Coronet. That's bad enough and we shall fight the good fight with every bone in our bodies. HOWEVER, now they want to add further insult to injury. In order to sell these flats, they have deemed it proper to put in an application to Southwark Council to take down the huge mature trees at the beginning of Newington Causeway at the entrance to MCH, in order to put up their "Sales Office" - i.e. a nasty temporary portocabin and some parking spaces for these propective clients. Never mind that are trying to remove OUR parking spaces to build their horrible building, including the trees that are JUST becoming a nice height and creating a green space, but they think it would be perfectly fine to demolish our front entrance garden with it's beautiful tall trees to CREATE parking spaces for new clients. The arrogance beggars belief. And what, we may ask, will remain after they take their portocabin away? You cant bring great big trees BACK. The unpeakable vandalism of these developers is beyond comprehension. We are talking TWELVE trees opposite the Coronet and five very tall mature trees and three smaller ones...eighteen trees in all. Tree lovers of the world - UNITE!
Wednesday 30 November 2005 1.13pm
Jackie - do you have any details (reference number, date etc..) of this application? I'm sure there'll be quite a bit of opposition to the plans from locals and other concerned people.
Wednesday 30 November 2005 1.30pm
Here's a direct link to the application: 05-AP-1845

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Wednesday 30 November 2005 1.34pm
I don't know much about them but could you apply for a tree preservation order to protect the trees-might at least slow them up a bit!!
Wednesday 30 November 2005 1.48pm

Ii have emailed them now re the development plus the trees.

Have you talked to The Willowbrook Centre?

Wednesday 30 November 2005 2.07pm
Tree/landscape removal? amazing how they contrive to conceal in jargon what they are really doing....they'll probably start cutting them down late Friday afternoon when you cant reach anyone at council office , effing cheek these developers have...
Wednesday 30 November 2005 3.33pm

Why not set up a rota of people to keep an eye on the situation. Better still, a webcam. Maybe James could give some technical guidance on that?

Knowing Councils as I do, I'm not surprised that they don't have the resources to respond to such situations. Direct action like 'witnessing' or a webcam would be one way of doing something constructive.


Wednesday 30 November 2005 4.19pm
I think the first thing is for as many people as possible to object to the application on the grounds of the effect on the trees.

I have alerted someone who is very good on these types of issues about the application and he said he will look into whether there are other policy grounds on which to object, whether there are existing planning conditions relating to the site which protect the trees and whether it is feasible to get a TPO.

When objecting it would be a good idea to copy the local councillors.

If it would be useful I can post my own objection to the application when I have written it so that people can use it as a general template when writing their own (the more objections the more likely it is that councillors will see the application and take the objections seriously).
Wednesday 30 November 2005 4.50pm
I've emailed Andrew Pratt who is the caseworker in charge of this application as follows:
Application No. 05-AP-1845
File No. TP/1411-119

Dear Andrew
I am an owner occupier at Metro Central Heights, and I am writing to register my opposition to this planning application.
Elephant and Castle is a very urban and densely populated area, much of which is mid to high level buildings.
We do not have much greenery in the area as it is, and I find the proposition of removing eighteen mature and healthy trees absolutely unnecessary and abhorrent.
The green area at the front of the building does much to shield the residents who live on the lower levels of the building from a very busy road and also protects their privacy from the many people who stand at the bus stops there for much of the day.
It is also nice to see some rare greenery on the way in and out of the building.
To remove these trees and replace them with an unsightly portakabin seems perverse, particularly as the portakabin will not be there long term- you cannot replace these mature trees afterwards- they have taken years to grow.
I would also like to complain about the parking spaces which St George want to site by our entrance- this makes vehicular access more difficult for residents, and as St George are planning to take the majority of our resident's parking spaces as it is, in order to build a new money spinning residential block, it seems arrogant and hypocritical for them to want to add some for their own personal and commercial use.
I absolutely oppose this proposal and I would appreciate confirmation that you have received this email and registered my opposition.
My flatmate has also been copied in on this email as have some of my neighbours and our local councillor, Lorraine Zuleta.
Wednesday 30 November 2005 9.15pm
I have spoken to the tree officer of Southwark and asked him to come and look at thesite. Can you imagine he thought that the area was part of the redevelopment area! No it is NOT, I said. None of the Elephant and Castle Regenerations schemes involves chopping down eighteen trees which are actually outside the development area. So he's going to go and look. Do keep up the pressure, it's just appalling that St.George can even THINK of such philistinism. Our councillor Lorraine Zuleta is terrific and has spoken up for us over and over. do copy her in on your objections. [email protected]
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