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

Yesterday, 15:30
David Cameron speaks to pupils at the Archer Academy.

Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed to pupils at a East Finchley free school that his favourite teacher at Eton College used to throw a “block of wood” at students who did not pay attention in class.

Yesterday, 15:08
Natalia Czekaj

The partner of a popular West Hampstead barmaid has today admitted stabbing her to death at her home.

Yesterday, 13:18
Mitch Winehouse next to the statue of his daughter unveiled in Camden Market last year. Picture: Dieter Perry

The family of late singer and former Camden Square resident Amy Winehouse has criticised an upcoming documentary about her life.

Yesterday, 10:34
Tesco Express in Swain's Lane was closed last week due to a rodent infestation

A supermarket on a popular shopping parade was temporarily closed due to a rodent infestation.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder