[Announce] Message from the Glisson Road / Tenison Road Area Residents Association

John Lawton chair at soscambridge.org.uk
Thu Feb 24 08:58:36 GMT 2011

We've just received the message below from the Glisson Road / Tenison 
Road Area Residents Association.  It concerns the fate of trees in 
the Mill Road and Tenison Road area.  I believe that it is pertinent 
to the present debate on the fate of trees in Alexandra Gardens.

Anyone living in the Mill Road area will have noticed the Cherry 
Trees outside St Barnabas Church which herald spring every year have 
been cut down by the Church. The loss of greenery makes a dramatic 
difference to any journey along Mill Road.

Below is from the latest Glisson Road / Tenison Road Area Residents
Association Newsletter which gives details: www.gtara.org

More Trees chopped down:

The last few months have been a disaster for our local street trees. Two
groups of fine trees have been cut down.
Last year we wrote to everyone to ask for your support in preventing the
loss of the trees on the corner of Tenison Road and Station Road. We would
like to thank everyone who wrote. It was great to know so many people care
about our urban environment.

Sadly we lost the argument. The meeting was attended by a Director of
Brookgate (formerly of Ashwell now in administration) and a senior
representative of Microsoft, the proposed tenants of the massive new office

Councillors fell over each other to praise Microsoft and say there was
nothing they could do about the trees. Some even replied to residents to say
their hands were tied by a previous application that had allowed the

This was only a partial truth since the previous application would never
have been implemented. It required a contribution of several hundred
thousand pounds towards the guided bus project.

The new application allowed this payment to be deferred to an indeterminate
date in the future. Council officers were concerned that the developer was
suffering hard times and could not afford the payment, presumably Microsoft
are also in a similar financial position?

The result is that Council tax payers will subsidise Brookgate and we lose
the trees as well.

St Barnabas Church trees cut down.

As if this was not bad enough last week our neighbourhood suffered another
tree disaster.
We have put 'before' and 'after' pictures on our web site www.gtara.org

The beautiful and fine trees outside St Barnabas Church in Mill Road were
either cut down or hacked back.
It appears that the Church was granted planning permission last year to
remove three large and well established flowering Cherry Trees and a large
Maple tree. Two other trees, a Lime and a Maple have been severely cut back.
The result is dreadful as you can see. (see attached photographs of before
and after).

If ever we were under the illusion that the Council was the guardian of fine
urban trees we were wrong.
It is for the street scene in Mill Road a disaster, made even more ironic by
the fact that the recent Conservation Area appraisal single out the trees
for praise. Clearly one hand of the Council does not have a clue as to what
the other hand is doing.

Once again we report the Council has fallen down on its duty in letting
people know. We were told that adjoining properties were consulted but there
was no response.  We asked for the list and analysed who had been informed.
A restaurant, several hot food take away shops, the bank, a hostel for
Cambridge Center for Sixth Form Studies, and countless rooms in houses in
multiple occupation. Why on earth do Council officials think that businesses
and transitory students are going to make any comment? Is there not any
common sense in the Planning Dept?

The Church is of course planting replacements, three Prunus Umeniko cherry
trees, but these are small and will probably never reach the same size as
those destroyed. They are also proposing a single Euonymous Europaeus tree
to replace the Maple. This again is a tiny replacement reaching an eventual
height of 2.4 m

The Residents Association raised the issue last week at the Council East
Area Committee. On the advice of Allan Brigham the well known local
historian and Blue Badge Guide we put forward two suggestions:-

1. That the Church be asked to plant mature replacements of similar stature.

2. To demand the Council to introduce meaningful consultation on trees in
future. This should mean at the least far more visible notification on the
site and telling many more local residents in nearby streets.

The issue has been taken up by local Councillor Lucy Walker who has written
to the Executive Councillor responsible Councillor Clare Blair. She in turn
has passed the issue to the Head of Parks and open spaces.

If residents would like to support the two demands above you can write to
him at Alistair.Wilson at cambridge.gov.uk

Glisson Road / Tenison Road Area Residents Association
Chair Barbara Bell 23 Glisson Road, Vice Chair - Simon Szreter 18 Tenison
Secretary - Frank Gawthrop 30 Lyndewode Road,
Treasurer - Bronwen Loder 39 Glisson Road
News from the Glisson Road and Tenison Road Area Residents Association

Save Our green Spaces

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