Neighbours unite to try to save much-loved Muswell Hill tree
- Credit: Rachel Kiki
Neighbours in Muswell Hill are rallying to prevent a “beautiful” horse chestnut tree from being felled.
An application has been put to Haringey Council for an 11-metre tree in Cascade Avenue to be removed.
Due to “poor structural condition” the owner, ROK Enterprises, says it wishes to cut down the existing tree and plant a replacement along the western embankment of Grove Lawn Tennis Club.
But neighbours have strongly opposed the proposals, with nearly 100 objections lodged on the town hall’s planning portal (as of May 28).
Those fighting the plans include residents from Etheldene Avenue, Rookfield Avenue, Cascade Avenue, The Chine and Cranmore Way.
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Muswell Hill resident Kate Schwarz told the Ham&High: “My children love to collect conkers from this beautiful and tree with their friends in autumn.
“So many kids have collected conkers from this tree and would continue to do so, but now they won’t be able to. Losing this tree is devastating for so many reasons.
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“For kids in London to have access to nature, for us all especially during lockdown to be able to enjoy the vista of the tree, for all the flora and fauna and birds and squirrels that have made this tree their home and of course, the future of us all.
“This tree is a carbon sink and we need more of these, not less.”
Henry Lamprecht, a spokesperson for ROK Enterprises said that its initial plan, believing there was no tree protection order (TPO), was to remove and replace it “with a substantial indigenous tree”.
“However, subsequently Haringey Council informed us that there is in fact a TPO on this tree and we are now further exploring what options are available,” Henry said.
“We are not in the business of misleading residents, we are open, transparent and honest.
“The reality is that we need to balance the duty to protect residents and property from a potentially dangerous tree and we will make an informed decision when we have more specialist information.
“It may be possible to reduce the size of the tree and make it safe again, but we are not sure if these works will damage the tree even further and only specialist advice can inform us.”
For more information on the proposal enter reference number HGY/2021/1338 on Haringey’s online planning portal.
Residents can comment until June 7. A decision is expected by July 8.