The independent London newspaper

Save the trees and protect our children

20 March, 2020

• THE protests on the proposed felling of seven mature trees have been met with dismissive attacks on Twitter from the head of the council, accusing either the green movement or residents of being anti-social on housing, despite the fact that the tree removal is to accommodate the private block proposed as part of the development next to the road and roundabout.

We are not. The original council planning report from 2017 noted “While the canopy cover gained over a 30-year projection equates to some 470sq m of canopy, this does not quite compensate for the 768sq m of canopy lost as a result of the felling of the trees on site to facilitate to development.”

Is this not a serious understatement? The HIghbury Corner works have resulted in a 30 per cent loss in green space, 17 mature trees as well as numerous trees felled out over the previous three years. The replacement specimens are beyond feeble.

Parents at neighbouring Canonbury Primary are very worried about the degree of pollution in the school and playground. This is hardly surprising; the school was above the EU legal limit for nitrogen dioxide well before there was anything like the new degree of pollution caused by long queues in Canonbury Road and on Highbury Corner itself.

Transport for London has promised a hedge to keep out fumes so they clearly recognise the pressing need to protect children. A hedge is almost laughable by comparison with seven mature trees.

If the council might consider and compromise, rather than vilify the local residents and campaigners’ concerns on the severe loss of irreplaceable green cover, then maybe we could take its declaration of a climate change emergency as somewhat genuine.



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