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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Press Release: 17 March 2023

120-year-old Plane Tree granted ‘11th hour’ reprieve until next hearing

Stroud Green Residents are delighted after the Oakfield Plane tree was granted a temporary reprieve in the High Court this morning after a resident applied for a last-minute injunction against Haringey Council to stop the tree’s felling. Haringey had been planning to fell the tree today but Mr Dan Squires QC upheld the resident’s injunction against the council. The new hearing is likely to take place on March 29th.

At 4.30am last Sunday morning Haringey Council built a scaffolding and white plastic fortress around the 120-year-old plane tree in N4. Yesterday, 16th March, the council increased its height to completely cover the tree which has greatly upset and outraged locals as a completely excessive and unnecessary step. The tree is guarded by 12 security men 24/7 along with a noisy generator, which has caused profound anger and noise disturbances with locals.

The tree is caught up in a long-standing subsidence case where Haringey Council has been pressured by two insurers Allianz and Aviva to fell it. They are relying on loss adjusters, Crawfords, to avoid necessary underpinning work for two households whose claims have been outstanding for more than 8 years.

The steps taken by residents to protect the tree has become a test case exposing how home insurers bully councils and residents into felling healthy street trees. Facing Ombudsman complaints from the householders, last year Allianz decided to come after the plane tree. They took out an action against Haringey Council for damages of up to £400,000, on the basis of questionable evidence.

Haringey Tree Protectors occupied the tree last year and since April 2022, our local protest has attracted the attention of mainstream and local news from the BBC to ITV London news, Daily Mail, The Evening Standard, Real Media GB, and the Guardian.

‘This is a temporary very joyful breathing space for our tree and a win in the long journey towards our target of achieving tighter legal protections for our precious public trees, from insurers, developers and councils who aren’t properly protecting them.’ HTP.

HTP had reached the end of its own county court legal process. They totally refute claims that they had been moving in reoccupy the tree in recent days by Haringey Council and in fact the tree has not been occupied since the last county court hearing in December 2022.
Contact Haringey Tree Protectors /
07810840189/ (Jo) 07935 233 063 (Gio) 07966441738 (Holly)


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Response from Haringey Council ( Publication date: March 17, 2023):

We have been fighting to save this tree since the original claim was made in 2015 and had no choice other than to look to remove it before the judge’s decision today.

If the tree remains, the latest estimates tell us the council risks facing an insurance claim of up to £1million which would be better spent on delivering key frontline services.

The judgement today in the High Court to take this to Judicial Review shows the magnitude of this decision and the challenge faced by boroughs up and down the country with the same dilemma.

It is wrong that councils are having to make the choice between saving a tree and paying huge sums of taxpayers’ money or felling a tree, so the insurers do not have to pay for tree damage cover.

We understand that some residents on Oakfield Road have been concerned by the scaffolding erected around the tree and the presence of security guards over the last few days.

These measures were to secure possession of the tree, prevent any unauthorised occupation, or anyone putting themselves at risk of injury. This was to ensure we were able to fell the tree in a safe manner. In view of the decision by the judge, it is now right these additional safety and security measures are removed.

We will not take any further action until the court makes a final decision.




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