Search

Vigil held as West Hampstead trees ‘worth half a million pounds’ are cut down by developers

12:01 14 February 2014

Masked and unmasked campaigners outside Ballymore sales office in West End Lane mourn the loss of trees cut down as part of new development. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Masked and unmasked campaigners outside Ballymore sales office in West End Lane mourn the loss of trees cut down as part of new development. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A last-ditch attempt led by Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson to save more than 30 trees from being chopped down has failed as developers refused to abandon their plans.

The mature trees near West Hampstead Overground Station - said to be up to 50-years-old and worth £500,000 - were cut down as part of the West Hampstead Square residential development.

Masked campaigners rallied together on Saturday (February 8) to hold a vigil outside Ballymore Group’s sales office in West End Lane, representing the more than 850 people who signed an online petition urging the company to leave the trees alone.

The group had reached the end of a long campaign that drew the support of West Hampstead resident and actress Emma Thompson.

Speaking on the plight of the trees, the Oscar-winner decried the “vandalism and ecosavagery” of the developers and dismissed claims that trees would be easily replaced.

“The seedlings that Ballymore are planting across the development will be pruned and heavily managed, in fact they could be likened to caged animals,” she said.

“No way can they simulate the beauty and intrinsic worth of wild, mature trees.”

Residents have argued the trees add to the “soul and character” of West Hampstead, and are also an important tool to block out noise from passing trains.

Camden Council said 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.

Ballymore Group could not be contacted for a statement.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

12:00
Last Night of St Jude's Proms with The London International Orchestra conducted by Howard Williams & soloist Victoria Simmonds

The illustrious Proms at St Jude’s festival drew to a crescendo finish last weekend following a week of literary talks and orchestral concerts.

12:00
Highgate Nursing Home resident Tina Gounaridou, Islington's deputy mayor Kat Fletcher and manager Carol Quinn at the opening of the garden of poetry and song

A care home has officially opened its new garden filled with poetry and songs written by its residents.

07:17
The lost Budgie, saved from the jaws of a cat, with  13-year-old Carmel

A family is searching for the owner of a bird they rescued from the jaws of their cat.

06:58
Suzie Wright

Popular dance teacher Miss Wright, who “lit up Hampstead with her smile” was found hanged in her bedroom at a flat above the historic pub hours after telling friends she planned to end her relationship with landlady Elaine Loughran, her partner of three and a half years, and find a new home.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder