Tree losses add up to more than the sum of their parts

Thursday, 30th June

Tree Roots Cartoon_John Sadler

Illustration by John Sadler www.johnsadlerillustration.com 

• IN support of Dr Susanne Griffin’s letter about the inconsistent attitude to trees, (We need greenery but blame it for wrecking our buildings, June 9), I live on a street where the houses have short gardens, backing on to the even shorter gardens of the houses behind us.

In recent years an increasing number of developers in those houses have tacked extra rooms on to the backs of existing extensions, in some cases doubling the footprint of the property and stretching right down to our boundary walls.

And, to be clear, it isn’t family housing that’s being built here. There are no children playing around these new extensions. It’s a private development which will allow landlords to maximise their profits.

As a result, precious green space is being wiped out: trees and birds have disappeared, gardens been concreted over, and the noise and erosion of privacy from the increased population is seriously eating into our wellbeing. And this is happening in a conservation area.

Our ward councillor, as well as some planning officers, are sympathetic to our point of view; but apparently it’s not in their power to oppose any single development if it’s within permitted guidelines.

My question is whether there will ever come a point where the cumulative effect of so many piecemeal developments can somehow be assessed as a whole? When can a proper value be placed on the environment?

Individually each extension may be permissible, but collectively they’re destroying the thin green line between us.

ROS FRANEY, NW1

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