In September 2012 the Copers Cope Residents’ Association assisted in getting the beautiful Plane Tree on The Avenue under a Tree Protection Order. Unfortunately Bromley Council gave permission for the tree to be felled on the 5th of February 2015.
The tree is suspected of contributing to subsidence under a nearby house. Local people have fought hard to ensure that there is conclusive evidence that the tree is actually the cause of the subsidence. There have been numerous technical reports by the house insurer’s consultants over the last few years, none of which have been conclusive. Even the Council’s own independent report does not recommend felling the tree, stating that the findings of the insurer’s consultant reports are inconclusive and incomplete. It recommended that three courses of action are undertaken before further consideration is given to the removal of the Plane Tree: 1. Shrubbery close to the house is removed; 2. Drains are tested and repaired if found to be defective; 3. Monitoring is continued for one year.
We are gravely disappointed that the Council chose not to follow its own professional consultant’s advice, instead recommending consent to be granted for the removal of this tree based on the insurer’s reports.
Heritage trees are an intrinsic part of the character of many roads in Northern Beckenham. Because of the detrimental effect the felling of a healthy tree has on the character of the area it should be an action of last resort.
The Council report can be found at the link below.
Beckenham’s Heritage Trees have been under threat in recent years, with a number lost due to development or subsidence claims such as this. Not all our heritage trees are under a Tree Preservation Order, whereby you must apply to the Council to fell or pollard them, and the ones that are not covered by a TPO are more at risk. If you have an old or mature tree in your road why not contact the Council to see if it is covered by a Tree Preservation Order and if not whether it should be. You can do this online at the link below.