Camden urges HS2 Ltd to protect every tree possible
Camden Council has challenged HS2 Ltd after residents raised concerns about the approach to tree felling during construction.
Under assurances obtained in Parliament, HS2 Ltd is required to maintain a record of all trees it cuts down in Camden and to actively work with the Council to plant replacement trees in a range of sizes and species appropriate to their locations as soon as is reasonably practical.
However, HS2 Ltd has not shared a clear database of tree work with either the Council or community that provides an overview of the tree felling programme and a forward plan of when certain trees are due to be removed and replaced.
Meanwhile, residents have, among other issues, highlighted HS2 Ltd.’s removal of trees from Adelaide Road, which they say lacks coordination and does not prioritise the preservation of trees where possible in this site of nature conservation.
Camden Council has now demanded that the tree tracker and the latest plans for tree replacement are publically shared to address residents’ concerns.
HS2 Ltd made a clear promise that they would replace all trees lost in Camden through construction – and it’s deeply disappointing we are having to ask them to be more transparent on this issue and provide proof they are following the agreed approach. This comes hot on the heels on what is becoming an unacceptable situation for hundreds of residents in Euston who have not yet had noise insulation and ventilation systems installed, despite HS2 Ltd beginning noisy and disruptive works right next to their homes.
“We have demanded that HS2 Ltd. do not touch any more trees at Adelaide Road until they provide documentation that justifies why they absolutely have to be removed. We have been clear that we will escalate breached assurances and hold HS2 to account - and this assurance is no different - we will stand with our communities.
We work very hard to maintain our trees here - almost a third of our borough is covered in trees, putting Camden in the top 20 areas in the UK for tree cover.
“In Camden we have declared a climate emergency and these trees play a vital role in taking carbon out of our atmosphere. Our residents also form deep attachments to individual trees that have stood in the borough all their lives.
“HS2 Ltd owe it both to the environment and our residents to respond to these concerns and to either demonstrate they are doing things by the book, or urgently step up to the plate.