|Locals Win New Trees From Council|
But Oxford Gardens residents say it will not be enough
Residents from Oxford Gardens have said a promise by Hounslow Council to stop felling trees without planting replacements is a “welcome gesture” but is not enough.
A petition by local people was launched last January after the Council cut down a cherry tree without informing residents. They complained that several trees had been felled in their street without being replaced over the years. The Council have now promised to plant two trees in the autumn as replacements.
One resident, Sarah Moir-Morelli told ChiswickW4.com;
“Two little tiny saplings will not make our street green again. It’s a gesture but considering that we’ve lost about seven trees in the last few years, it’s not going to change how the street looks.”
The petition called for the replacement of trees that had been cut down over the past ten years, and asked that felling the remaining cherry trees be stopped until proof of disease was provided.
Hounslow Council had claimed there was no money in the budget for tree-planting.
However, a report which will be presented to local councillors at next week’s Chiswick Area Committee meeting, acknowledges the upset caused to residents in the area and said the procedure had now been revised.
Details of tree removals including reasons why they needed to be removed had been hand delivered to residents at the end of January following the incident with the cherry tree.
“A review of the condition of the trees was also undertaken and whilst removal was still recommended it was decided to postpone felling until later in the year when the opportunity for replacements could be considered” says the report.
The Council also met with organisers of the petition in February and they were advised that favourable consideration was being given to planting at least two replacement trees in the Autumn.
“The planting of two trees in Oxford Gardens has subsequently been confirmed and will take place following the removal of the existing diseased trees.The opportunity for further planting will be considered if additional resources can be found”.
The report also said that an additional 25 trees were planted in the Chiswick area in 2011-12 predominantly funded through section 106 monies.
Mrs. Moir Morelli said she would be writing to the Mayor Boris Johnson to ask for money to be allocated to plant more trees in her area.
According to the report to be presented next week, the spread of street trees is uneven across the Borough with over three times more in the Chiswick area. During the last few years new tree planting to replace street trees that have been removed has been limited as there has been no budget allocated for this purpose.
“However, this issue was addressed during 2009 as Promise 4 under the Council’s 10 promises in order to transform the borough into a greener environment. As a result of this, 86 new street trees were planted throughout the Chiswick area,” says the report
Hounslow Council is responsible for 12,000 street trees across the borough. Following the last survey in 2011, a total of 166 trees were recommended for removal within Chiswick, 64 were removed already as urgent, and a further 102 trees were programmed for removal.
The London Borough of Hounslow did receive some funding from the Mayor of London’s Street Tree Planting Programme during 2009-10 and 2010-11. The Mayor of London’s Project Team approved funding for planting in two priority areas in the borough; Brentford and Feltham.
The Council has also secured funding of £1597 through section 106 for planting approximately 7 trees. They are attempting to obtain further funding to provide additional planting throughout Chiswick.
However the Council is also keen to promote its tree sponsorship scheme for residents who want to sponsor a street tree in their area. It costs £412 including the cost of the tree, planting, and maintenance for three years.
Details can be found on the internet at :http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/environment_and_planning/street_care/street_trees/
An example of the situation in Oxford Gardens