The latest on Queen’s Wood Oak trees
We are keen to provide a further update on the proposed removal of four Oak trees in Queen’s Wood. Petitions and a campaign have been launched, and lots of questions are being asked.
We have been engaging with local residents and campaigners on the ground, and the situation is as follows: In short, the trees have been identified for removal as part of a subsidence claim against the council on behalf of an insurer of a property in the area. If the council does not remove the trees, we will face costs of at least £270,000.
Cllr Kirsten Hearn, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability, said:
I do not want these trees to be cut down and I have been to the woods to chat with campaigners, who are rightly passionate about protecting this ancient woodland.
This is not the first claim from this property. Further subsidence has occurred. Haringey Council has paid for underpinning works to the building to address subsidence. This has not been successful.
In this case, we are not being left with much choice: we can either pay the insurance costs for further underpinning, at a cost we are told of at least £270,000, or cut down the four trees.
As a council we have endured a decade of cuts to our budget and have spent millions on protecting and supporting the community during the Covid-19 pandemic – we simply cannot afford to pay out £270,000 to the homeowner’s insurance company.
We are desperate for there to be another way.
Four Oak trees in Queen’s Wood have been identified for removal as part of a substantial subsidence claim by insurers of a property in the area. Given the diameter of the four trees’ stems, we believe them to be relatively young – an estimate of somewhere between 30 and 40 would be a fair assumption.
There had been a plan to remove a fifth, but council officers were able to save the tree, due to its maturity, greater ecological value and further distance away from the relevant property.
We have committed to replacing the four Oak trees this autumn.
As well as carbon storage, trees like this have huge benefits such as reducing the risk of localised flooding, releasing oxygen, nature conservation, and addressing urban heat islands
The council reviews insurance claims of this nature extensively and engages external advisors and works with independent experts to investigate claims where appropriate. If we can take mitigating actions such as crown reduction, we do so, as we have done in this case (amongst other steps we have taken too, such as underpinning).
We face incurring costs of, at minimum, £270,000 if the trees are not removed. We simply cannot afford that.
Haringey is committed to planting more trees – we expect to plant at least 800 by the end of the year – the last thing we want is to take any down.
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