CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Plane trees are forever! James Bond actor Daniel Craig’s tree saved from the chop

Camden Council issues protection order on 80-foot tree blamed for causing cracks in next door home

16 February, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and their tree

A SOARING 80ft London plane tree in the back garden of film star couple Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz has been saved from being cut down – after the council issued a protective order on it.

Mr Craig, who has played James Bond in the past four movies, and Ms Weisz, known for her roles in The Mummy franchise and the thriller The Constant Gardener, were due to lose the tree at their Camden Town home after their next-door neighbours applied for permission to cut it down. It was claimed the tree was causing cracks in their Victorian home.

The couple had put in a counter application to trim the tree in the hope that it would be saved from felling – but now this may not be necessary as council officers have issued a Tree Protection Order. In their report they state the tree makes “a positive contribution to the character of this part of the conservation area. The trees in the rear garden provide a screen between neighbouring properties, and are visually important.”

And Camden’s officers go on to dispute evidence provided by engineers that the tree is responsible for a series of cracks that have appeared in the next-door neighbours’ home, saying the subsidence could be caused by a sewer pipe.

Another neighbour, ­Colin Jacobson, who has campaigned to save the tree, said: “I requested a Tree Preservation Order but was told it would be up to the officers at the Town Hall. We received a letter today saying officers had decided the tree should not be cut down. The tree is a vital part of our landscape in Camden Town, and too often trees like this are lost as a precautionary measure to satisfy insurers, not because of hard facts. The applicant and their insurers need to think more carefully about how they can solve issues of subsidence without reaching for an axe. I feel very jubilant about this decision.”

The New Journal has reported how the engineer Stuart Harris submitted a report on behalf of the couple’s neighbours, advi­s­ing that the tree was partly the cause of the damage, adding: “In order to stabilise the property and prevent further damage occurring in the future, the cause of the movement needs to be addressed.”

Neither the applicants nor Mr Craig or Ms Weisz responded to requests for comment.

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