CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The proposed tree losses because of HS2 are not acceptable

09 March, 2017

• IN addition to their stated intention using chainsaws to cut down all the trees in St James Gardens after Easter (April 16), though not immediately having their diggers removing the roots till after the disinterment of 61,000 bodies by hand, HS2 at the same time plan to cut down over 50 trees in Euston Square Gardens to make room for their temporary taxi rank.

To cut down so many trees in an urban area with so few remaining green and open spaces beggars belief.

It’s not just the amenity of residents, it is also the health of residents: permanent damage to our children, increased deaths and undermining mental health.

We expect government, both national and local, to protect the common people.

Yet here we see damage inflicted knowingly over a long period starting with 17 years of construction.

There is no current intention to replace any of the St James Gardens trees nor return any of gardens to public use.

The Euston Square Gardens HS2 taxi rank document diagrammatic information shows the total loss of over 50 trees, many of them fully mature, irrespective of which of the three taxi rank options was chosen.

At some point in the future if the gardens are returned to public use after 2033, HS2 proposes to plant 30 new trees by way of replacement. It is clearly unacceptable for the amenity and air quality virtue of over 50 trees to be lost in a heavily polluted area for 17 years, and then for the replacement to be so meagre by comparison.

DOROTHEA HACKMAN
Chair, Camden Civic Society

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