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Protesters lose legal battle to ‘save the trees’ in Highbury

A High Court judge granted a possession order

29 January, 2021 — By Helen Chapman

The Save the Trees protest camp

A HIGH Court judge has granted a possession order for the council over land in Highbury where a new block of homes is planned.

The Save The Trees have occupied the Dixon Clark Court site, where they are aiming to stop any felling, for three months.

More than 4,000 people have signed an online petition in support of the protest.

David Rees QC told the court hearing held online that a possession order will come into effect at midday tomorrow (Saturday).

It comes after the Save The Trees group lodged an appeal against a possession order granted in November.

The trees – sycamore, Norwegian maples and chestnuts – are due to be axed to build 14 private homes which will fund the 25 new social dwellings.

The Town Hall are pledging to plant 13 on the site and a further seven nearby in mitigation. It has also said it will plant another 43 new trees around the borough.

But protesters say the mature trees currently on the site provide a vital health benefits in Highbury helping clean the air.

The Save The Trees group moved in after an earlier demonstration by Extinction Rebellion came to an end.

This all followed a long-running campaign to save the mature trees on the site by Conor McHugh, who lived nearby. He kept watch whenever it appeared the chainsaws were coming.

Mr McHugh, who often argued that there should not be a choice between housing and trees, died in April last year but friends and neighbours in Highbury have pledged to continue his protest.

More to follow

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