Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

This in my mail bag this morning from a local resident:

I don’t know if you are aware of the felling of all the mature trees in the BDC car park on Easter Sunday morning.

The time was clearly cynically chosen as an opportune time to evade any enforcement action – from 8am to 1pm on Easter Sunday – and was ruthlessly executed. I was alerted by the very loud noise which I had thought it was road surfacing, and went to have a look at midday. On phoning Haringey emergency services at about 12.30pm, they told me that other calls had been received and ‘would be passed on to the tree officer’. An hour later last vestige of these imposing trees had been reduced to tree stumps. I spoke to a shopkeeper and a stunned resident watching from nearby who had called the police – the police had no interest in intervening. All the people watching from the neighbouring Langham WMC were clearly aghast, too. Context: I learnt from a shopkeeper that the main part of the BDC site has just been sold by BDC for a multi-million figure.

This is just totally depressing – another cynical developer exploiting the neighbourhood with no reference to the local community or for the quality of life and the environment on Green Lanes Harringay or (in this case) the amenity value of long-standing trees.

There must be some way of finding out who had bought the site and keeping a very close eye on any further works which they attempt to carry out as well as planning applications.

Regarding the loss of these wonderful trees (as a shopkeeper said, there is only one mature tree left in the whole of that stretch of Green lanes, now) - there must be a means of (a) fining the perpetrators, and (b) getting the trees replaced by similar trees., and (c) imposing scrutiny and restraints on any further activity on this huge site.

This is very worrying and I would like to suggest that this is raised on Harringay Online without delay, as it raises so many issues – not only the immediate response which should be forthcoming from Haringey, but also the imminent works and Planning Applications. First, the new owners need to be identified – there is probably somebody out there who knows how to track them down.

Tags for Forum Posts: 590-598 Green Lanes, BDC, hawes & curtis, tpo, tree protection order, trees

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This is very distressing. If the new owners behave in this underhand way then they certainly need careful scrutiny of future works and planning but can they be sanctioned for doing this on their own land? Anyone know?
How terrible. BDC is the wholesale electrical retailers on the right of Green Lanes if you are heading towards Wood Green, just opposite Beresford Road.

Plugging N8 0RY into google maps shows you the site, with the trees still there ...

What can we do?
Thanks for suggesting the street view, it certainly shows what's what. I can't believe that those trees were in the way of anything much as they were right on the boundary. Wonder what they are up to.
I let our councillors know over the w/e. This morning Nilgun Canver emailed me to say she'll look into it and let me know.
Saw this happening -- at least, saw the first tree go on Saturday -- and was equally shocked. I assumed naively that they couldn't do it without proper permission. Keen to know what you get back from Nilgun Canver and how we can follow this up.
Was there a protection order on the trees? These are called Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) as I expect you know.

If there were any TPOs on individual or groups of trees then they can be fined heavily. I doubt it would deter them as the land is obviously worth a few extra costs, which they have probably already factored into potential expenditure.

If there are any other trees in similar positions, it is wise to make sure that there is and that the council is alerted if there is any change of ownership of the land they are on. I'm not sure if they can notify owners ahead of any action that trees are protected... though again it is unlikely to deter them much.

The only action that we can take now is to search out other trees still standing in land in the borough and look into preservation orders for them. As we are supposed to be the greenest borough and trees are essential to our well being, this is indeed worrying. There is a lot of traffic pollution to absorb in Green Lanes.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing when walking past the site on Saturday morning, some sort of wasteland suddenly sprung up!
The fine is not insignifiacnt - £20k per tree.

"What can I do if a protected tree is damaged without permission?
It is an offence to carry out work to a protected tree without the council’s consent. If a protected tree is damaged or destroyed without permission, the owner or person carrying out the work may be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000 and a suitable replacement tree will also have to be planted, in consultation with the Planning Service." from LBH website.

I'm about to go after some developers who have felled a beautiful old sycamore near to me. As it's on the road frontage I'm hoping there may have been a CPO in place. It's there on Google streetview - a handy reference now despite misgivings re privacy.
I doubt your Sycamore is protected. My neighbour has two Lymes and a Sycamore, the Sycamore is not protected but both Lyme trees are.
Have a look at the list of protected trees in Harringay I got about 18 months ago. From the was the BDC trees are listed it's not quite clear what was protected. The sycamores are on the list but no count is given. Easy enough for someone to check with the contact I added to the list though.

And here's the latest Government guidance on tree protection. It says illegally felled trees have to be replaced (Though quite how you replace a 100 year old tree is not clear! I guess £20k out the the price they're likely to get for that plot is small potatoes).
Thanks for this information Hugh, I've emailed the Haringey contact that you mention on the list (Gerzie.Green@haringey.gov.uk if anyone else is interested). Certainly one of trees had a TPO.
This is outrageous. How can we catalogue other trees in the area and ensure there are TPOs on them. I am happy to wander around photographing and recording them if that helps?



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