I wrote to SC about six weeks ago asking what was going to happen to the beautiful mature trees on the Heygate when demolition starts. This was following Luke's link on this forum to the aerial pix (sadly, I now can't find and reproduce that link here).
When I have walked around the Heygate, I have been stunned by the range of trees including Elder and Sweet Chestnut and thought how lovely and unusual that is/was in such a central location.
Today I had a response to my email (it had gone round several departments before landing with Dave Ware).
A finer piece of what I call non-speak, I have not seen in quite a while:
"Thanks for your question raising the issue of tree protection. Southwark council is very conscious of its need to protect biodiversity, retain trees, especially those of value and improve access to natural environments. In every phase of the forthcoming demolitions a tree survey and a full ecological survey, including checking whether we have a bat population that needs protection, will be undertaken. Our development partners are then charged with protecting as many of these trees as is practical. The masterplanning of the regenerated area will also acknowledge this.
It is unlikely that trees will be transplanted, as this, irrespective of the cost, often results in the trees not surviving, but we will take advice from our arboricultural officer in each phase.
I hope this answers your question but please let me know if there is more information that you need.
Assistant Project Director
Elephant and Castle
tel: 0207 525 4952
fax: 0203 357 3077
PO Box 64529 | London | SE1 5LX
My thoughts on this waffle: "SC is very conscious of the need to protect biodivesity..." Really? So why are they so eager to destroy what little pockets we have of such in the borough by building houses upon them?
"... a tree survey and full ecological survey..." Why hasn't this been done before now? It's not as if the trees have appeared there overnight.
"Our development partners are then charged with protecting as many of these trees as is practical" Well, I think we all know what that means! Shall we take bets now on how many will remain?
I think it would be great if as many people as are interested and care, write to Dave Ware expressing their concern. Maybe, just maybe, we'll save a few.
I'm on your side here, do we still have a tree protection officer in southwark or not?
Given the grand scheme of things how much per tree would they cost to transplant? Some developments manage to transplant mature trees...
If I was an ordinary workman tearing down the heygate, I would ask around private homes and ask if any one wants a mature tree...after all with all those bucket diggers etc., how difficult can it be! and make a bit of money on the side....
In theory Southwark has a tree officer: Oliver Stutter, in practice we don't and the developers just cut down anything they want. You can try and get a tree preservation order but the tree department will just refuse to do it. Give it a go though, it's coming up to an election and that concentrates peoples minds.
Over twenty beautiful mature street trees have just been destroyed on Jamaica Road/Abbey St junction so that more property speculators can make yet more money building over priced sky high poor quality shoe box flats with paper thin walls. If anyone tries to stop them doubtless Councillor Nick Stanton (MBE) will ride to the rescue of the poor developers.