Local Group Criticises Developer For Felling Trees

Mature trees in Essex Place removed in advance of Lend Lease housing

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The Chiswick High Road Action Group ( CHRAG) has criticised developer Lend Lease for cutting down several mature trees in Essex Place.

Lend Lease said the plane trees were large and "inappropriate" for the mews location and said each one would be replaced by a more suitably-sized range of trees.

However CHRAG said that it was always regrettable to see the felling of mature healthy trees, even if the developer claimed it intended to replant with new saplings.

"It seems strange that Lend Lease should begin felling trees before the 6-week legal challenge period following planning permission, has elapsed", said a spokesperson.

"Clearly Lend Lease is keen to start work on its controversial development as soon as possible. It is always regrettable to see the felling of mature healthy trees, even if the developer claims it intends to replant new saplings. Local groups, including CHRAG, are very interestedly watching the progress of the Judicial Review launched by a local resident."

Local residents had contacted Hounslow Council to ask why the trees had been felled at Essex Place, close to the Sainsbury's car park and had been told that it was not part of a Conservation area and the Council was not responsible for felling the trees.

A Lend Lease spokesperson said: “The existing London Plane trees are large and inappropriate for the mews location. It is proposed to remove them and for each to be replaced by a more suitably-sized range of trees. The detail of our landscape strategy shows that we will be planting 41 trees, comprising 29 native trees and 12 feature street trees.

"This is more than four times the number of trees being removed. We are keen to improve the public realm and to plant broader species of trees and shrubs which are better suited to the area and can increase biodiversity. All of the trees on Chiswick High Road will be maintained.”

The Lend Lease scheme, which includes the redevelopment of Empire House and housing projects for Essex Place has been the subject of controversy for several months.

Backed by local community groups, local resident Simon Kverndal QC recently served a judicial review pre-action letter on the London Borough of Hounslow, challenging the manner in which the scheme was granted planning approval by the Council. It is understood that the Council has responded to the letter and will defend its position.

Aerial view of the proposed scheme - Lend Lease

May 18, 2015