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Highbury Corner’s trees ‘must be saved for cleaner air’

06 December, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Conor McHugh by the Highbury Corner trees

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on the council to save trees facing the axe, warning that they are needed to protect residents from ­pollution in Highbury Corner.

Planning chiefs last year approved designs for 41 new homes on the Dixon Clark Court estate in Canonbury Lane, two-thirds of which will be for social rent. But the proposals include felling seven trees.

Conor McHugh, who has lived in Compton Terrace since the 1970s, overlooking the trees, said: “The project is to build social housing, which is terrific.

“But in order to pay for it some of the flats will be exclusive luxury flats as part of a private development.

“The trees protect the nearby [Canonbury primary] school playground from the polluted road which is foul.”

The trees that face being uprooted under the plans are sycamore, Norwegian maples and chestnuts.

“Even though it has been given approval I hope the trees can be saved. They are still alive,” said Mr McHugh. “Since the planning decision was made, the council has declared a climate emergency. This is the perfect time to show they mean it by reversing the decision that would reduce green space and make local pollution more dangerous.”

Mr McHugh has been putting up signs in Highbury and standing on the street collecting signatures for the petition which so far has gathered more than 100 names. It ends December 20.

The petition can be found at


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