SAVE OUR MULBERRY TREE - PARK VIEW ESTATE, LONDON

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Our magnificent, fully grown and very rare Mulberry tree stands at the entrance of Park View estate, and where it has grown for around 70 years.  It provides fruit every year, enjoyed by everyone from the elderly to the small children of our estate, Park View, in Highbury New Park, N5.  And a habitat for wildlife.  Honestly, the drunk squirrels in the autumn are something else.

Over the last three years residents have received  promises from Islington Council that the tree would be protected during new building works, but there has been a sudden U-turn and after three years of consultation the residents have been told in a newsletter from the Council that the tree will soon be destroyed. Appallingly, less than one month from now.

The tree is part of our heritage and has taken a lifetime to grow.  But all is not lost yet - the newsletter posted through every resident's door announcing the destruction of the tree contains a lie.  The consultation has not reached any findings yet and the destruction has not been green lit - yet.

Unfortunately, Islington Council's planning department had issued an extremely vague and impossible to understand planning letter -  'minor amendments' to happen to the existing plans for Mulberry tree. And then '3no. of trees to be omitted, including the Mulberry tree' 

But in the context of the newsletter from the Head of the Development,  the intended fate of the tree is clear and we must act to save it.  

Mulberry trees can live for 300 years or more.  Residents have contacted an independent expert Dr Peter Coles, an on Mulberry trees, who disagrees with the Council's analysis that the tree is near the end of its natural life:  Read more here:

https://www.moruslondinium.org/research/park-view-mulberry

We understand it is necessary, and right to build new homes on Council land but we promises for the safety of our tree are being broken.

The 2017 planning document for the building works on the estate,  approved by Islington Council

https://democracy.islington.gov.uk/documents/s13131/Committee%20Report%20Park%20View%20Final%20Draft%20SW.pdf

It states on page 14 that the Mulberry tree is valued by residents and will be retained.

Also on page 22,  it states that the building footprint has been designed to retain the existing Mulberry tree.

On page 33 'Building A has been designed to minimise impacts on an existing Mulberry tree'

And additionally on page 36 - '[Building A] is being designed to protect an existing Mulberry tree'

The Section 73 notice - for the destruction of the Mulberry tree

https://planning.islington.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/Generic/StdDetails.aspx?PT=Planning%20Applications%20On-Line&TYPE=PL/PlanningPK.xml&PARAM0=495863&XSLT=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/Islington/xslt/PL/PLDetails.xslt&FT=Planning%20Application%20Details&PUBLIC=Y&XMLSIDE=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/Islington/Menus/PL.xml&DAURI=PLANNING

The wording is almost impossible to understand regarding the tree.  And the developers,  refused to explain in clear English what it meant in an online zoom meeting in January 2021 with residents.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Sign this petition.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, everywhere you can.

Then email Islington Council.

The planning case officer is Joseph Hennessy  at Islington Council.  Email him joseph.hennessy@islington.gov.uk. .  Let them know if you think the letter above is written in a way that can be understood.  Let them know what you think about the tree.

The Head of the Development who has already written to residents stating the tree is to be destroyed (prior to the publication of findings from the deeply flawed Section 73 consultation) is Islington Council's Andrew Hunter.  andrew.hunter@islington.gov.uk.  And why not email the leader of Islington Council and let him know what you think?    richard.watts@islington.gov.uk 

CC planning@islington.gov.uk on everything.  

Please help us stand up for our beloved tree.  THANK YOU.

Zoe Alzamora, Islington