Trees… This isn’t the most interesting topic for everyone I know, although some of us do get very passionate about trees sometimes.

What I am proposing isn’t revolutionary – it can’t be because the council is doing it already!

Sometimes they are just in the ‘wrong’ place. Yes they were there before whatever replaces them, quite often before some of us were born, but it just isn’t possible to do everything we want to around them. They have to go.

The council accepted this a long time ago, but with a little bit of help from our more passionate friends the policy of 2-4-1 was adopted, with the council planting over two trees for everyone it fells. Quite right too. In addition before any tree is felled by the council in Blenheim Park I receive notification and am given the reasons why.

I think this is the right policy to have and it means that we aren’t too restricted with what we can do to improve our town by trees, but that we do not lose the beauty and benefits trees bring to our otherwise very heavily built up area.

What is disappointing is several private developers who put application to the council to build desperately needed flats/houses, that involve the removal of several trees. When the council is involved, even at arm’s length and indirectly it ensures that its 2-4-1 policy is adhered to. Unfortunately, and even after asking until blue in the face, it doesn’t appear that the council can even insist upon a 1-4-1 replacement by developers. I think this is wrong. I hope that in time we will be able to bring a policy into force that enables us to be able to do so. Perhaps the Localism bill will help!

If developers do not want to replant the trees themselves or are unable to provide the land within their development for the new trees, then I am sure (like we do for public art and education) we could charge them a reasonable replacement fee and the council’s parks department could do it on their behalf?

What does Blenheim Park (its residents not the park itself!) think?


About jamescourtenay

Local Southend resident, since before I can remember. I am hoping to represent the residents of Blenheim Park Ward after the May 2011 Local Elections. Straight Talking? - Yes. Approachable? - Yes. Accountable? - Yes. See my blog to find out how!
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