The property owner and their insurer were successful in their application to have the trees removed because they provided convincing evidence to the Council showing that the trees may be undermining the building’s foundations. The trees were part of the Hither Green hospital site, protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). It’s a pity that the developer of the Hither Green hospital site built these flats in 1997 (approx) with foundations that were insufficient for the ground conditions or put them too close to the protected trees. Planning consent was given by Lewisham Council for building the flats on the basis of retaining these trees (and other buildings near to trees protected by a TPO/s on the old HG hospital site). It’s unlikely that the conditional proposed small growing species replanting will make up for the loss of these trees.
The trees made up part of the green infrastructure that extends from the park into the housing development site. Other trees on the old Hither Green hospital site may also be at risk of being felled because they are potentially too close to buildings with unsuitable foundations.
Details of why the Council accepted an application to fell the trees :
LB Lewisham – “You will be able read all the technical reports that were submitted to the Council in support for the reason within application DC/13/82300 the reason within this application was vegetation induced clay shrinkage subsidence. The Council considered all the supporting evidence submitted and determined that it could not refuse application DC/13/82300 because the applicants supporting evidence was sufficient on the balance of probability to proven the reasons given. Therefore if the Council had of refused application DC/13/72300 the Council would of been libel for all the costs associated with the refusal of the application such as professional fees, under pining works, accommodation cost during the underpinning works etc. I hope the above explains why the Council made the reasoned considered decision to grant consent to DC/13/82300 on condition that three regular standard ( Tree Size Girth 1 metre above the ground Approx. Height Clear Trunk* Regular Standard: Girth: 8-10cm Height:2.50-3.00m) Amelanchier lamarckii replacement trees will be planted.”
Application and evidence submitted to Lewisham Council for tree removal: