"There’s an urgent and unexpected Haringey consultation that we must briefly comment on. Please respond right away if you can; we understand the deadline is 1 June 2013 [Update: now extended to 10 June] but it is not strict, and you can still respond even if you’ve missed this date.
"We’ve only recently heard about it, and are trying to find out why we found out so late. Whatever the reason, this highlights how vigilant we must all continue to be.
"It’s important that we contact Haringey in large numbers about this. If you also have time to alert your local councillors, please do so.
"The consultation concerns a planning application (HGY/2013/0847) by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) to continue work on ‘tree preservation’ at the Pinkham Way site. If permission is granted, a large number of dead and dying trees will be removed.
"Our local wildlife and planning experts have highlighted many problems with this approach. And, of course, we must be alert to the possibility that the work is purely a way for the NLWA to diminish the conservation value of the site to make any future planning application easier.
You might want to consider some of the following:
- Current best practice in woodland management does not require that dead/dying trees be removed (unless unsafe), because they provide habitat for a higher number of species than living trees. The management of Coppett’s Wood, just across the A406 from Pinkham Way, is a good example of this.
- Pinkham Way is a Site for the Importance of Nature Conservation (SINC) Grade 1, one of only a handful in Haringey. Given this designation, the council’s current responsibility is to preserve the site’s biodiversity, and not to allow its reduction in the way that this application would entail. Even more so in the light of the State of Nature report just published (22/05/13).
- A planning inspector has recently advised that Haringey need to carry out a full ecological study of the Pinkham Way site before making further planning decisions about what to do with it. Haringey have already pledged, in a form of words agreed with the Pinkham Way Alliance (PWA) at the full council meeting on 18 March 2013, to do as instructed by the inspector.
- Given the amount of controversy surrounding the Pinkham Way site these past two years, and ongoing, it is surely beneficial for all parties to wait until after a full study of the site has been carried out.
- There is recent evidence that bats forage and roost at the site. This whole issue is subject to strict legal control, and yet it is not covered at all in the NLWA application, which should be turned down as a result. For more on the importance of bats, please see the response of local wildlife expert Ollie Natelson (below).
- It is not yet clear that notification about this consultation (NLWA planning application for tree preservation) was properly circulated to all interested parties.
- In light of the controversial nature of the application, please suggest that the matter should be referred to the Planning Committee
"For all documentation, and to submit a response, visit the Haringey Planning Applications page and click the button that says ‘Comment on Application’. Enter your details in the pop up box.
"NB: If it correctly summarises your viewpoint, don’t forget to select the option that says "Inform the Authority that you object to the Planning Application."
"Please do so as soon as you can."