Friday, November 30, 2012

Roan Tree under Threat

An application has been submitted by the Council to fell the Flowering Horse Chestnut (T5) at the junction of Vanbrugh Park Road West and Westcombe Park Road

In its application in 2011, the Council gave specific assurances that this tree would be retained. In the submission to the Planning Board, section 12.2 stated that
‘The Root Protection Area of trees T59, T5 [the Flowering Horse Chestnut], T18 (see Tree Survey Report) overlaps the building footprint and in order to retain these trees and mitigate the impact on their roots the structure of the building as[sic] been revised.”

This reflects the statement in Section 6.1 that
“Existing Trees
Mature trees are recognised as being a significant asset to the locality. Every effort must be made to minimise the need to remove existing trees.”

Illustrations of the school in the Planning Application routinely include this tree screening the mass of the Sports Hall.  The estimated size of a proposed replacement Sweet Chestnut tree is shown below.   The pictures show top left Year 1, top right Year 5, bottom left Year 10, bottom right Year 20.


 As can be seen it will be a number of years before a replacement tree provides the same screening of the buildings as the healthy, mature Horse Chestnut that is currently under threat.  The Westcombe Society feel that the tree is an important feature on the site and screens the new Sports Hall, therefore it should remain and, if necessary, the site of the new Sports Hall should be moved to protect the tree.

The Westcombe and Blackheath Societies have written to oppose the application, as have a number of local residents.  Objections to Application 12/2629/TC can be made by letter or online  (reference 12-2629-TC)

A petition was available for signature on the Westcombe Society table at the Dickensian Bazaar at Blackheath High School on Saturday 17th November from 11.30 to 4.00pm. 39 signatures were collected, noone visiting the table objected to the petition. For further information contact or comment on this post.

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