Pressure on to preserve Upminster trees as council receives almost 200 messages

Tree Preservation Order

Havering Council has confirmed that 189 responses were submitted in support of keeping the order currently protecting a number of trees on the miniature golf site in Upminster. - Credit: Sarah Pettitt

The pressure is on Havering Council to preserve a number of trees in Upminster after it received almost 200 messages supporting their protection.

A number of trees on the Hall Lane miniature golf site - set for redevelopment - are currently subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), the permanency of which will be decided within six months of its imposition.

The order - effective from November 23 - bans the destruction of these trees (a list of which can be found online). 

With the council set to decide the fate of this order, it set a deadline of December 31 for residents to have their say.

A council spokesperson has since confirmed that, at the time of writing, 189 messages had been received.

They also offered an update on the decision-making process: "We have received a lot of responses which has meant the process has taken longer than originally expected, but the council believes it will be completed within the six-month timeframe.” 

Upminster miniature golf site

With the miniature golf site set to be redeveloped into up to 37 homes, the onus has now shifted to preserving a number of surrounding trees. - Credit: Sarah Pettitt

The Recorder also raised the concern of resident Sarah Pettitt (whose garden backs onto the site). Her fear is that the council will find "an excuse" not to preserve the TPO as such an order is "bound to hinder the development".

When asked to confirm that this will not impact its decision-making, the spokesperson said: "The purpose of this TPO is to protect trees for the immediate future. It is expected that detailed development proposals will provide a justification for the proposed removal of any trees covered by the TPO.” 

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The Recorder has also obtained separate messages of support. 

Councillor Gillian Ford, of the Upminster and Cranham Residents Group, said: "One of the whole reasons for fighting to retain the pitch and putt was for the trees and the green lung it brings to the area. To lose one tree is sad but to see the removal of multiple trees is a travesty."

Kevin Kilbey from the Friends of Upminster Mini Golf Course group added: "Protecting some of these trees cannot reverse the damage that will be done to the local area as a result of the housing development, but the retention of its important trees will help keep a link to the past, support the environment and biodiversity, and improve the well-being of local residents."

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