December 11 2013 Latest news:
by Imogen Blake
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
West Hampstead residents are fighting to save more than 30 mature trees, which could soon be for the chop as part of construction works to build a residential development.
A couple with a flat overlooking the trees, which surround a large development site in West End Lane, believe they are acting as a barrier blocking noise from the building works.
Because the trees are not within a conservation area or covered by a tree preservation order, which would protect them from being cut down, they were identified for removal in the planning application for the West Hampstead Square development.
Stephen Jones, who lives in Iverson Road with his partner, said: “There are 34 trees there and it’s devastation to get rid of all of them.
“The trees are important to the character of the area. There would be no soul to the place without them.
“It’s quite a lot of trees to get rid of. Could they not do something smaller to incorporate the trees?
“We thought the trees would be good for the development to protect them from noise from the railway line.”
A spokesman for Camden Council said: “The trees at the West End Lane development are not covered by a tree preservation order or within a conservation area and were identified for removal in the original planning application.
“There will be a number of trees planted as part of the redevelopment proposals and a number of other biodiversity enhancements such as living roofs and new landscaping.
“The overall balance of tree and other planting was considered and accepted as part of the planning permission.”
Developers Ballymore were not available for comment as the Ham&High went to press.