London borough attacked for felling trees

Brent defends its decision to cut down street trees and claims it will replace lost trees

Brent Council in London has attracted flak for cutting down a large amount of street trees for “aesthetic and financial reasons”. London’s Evening Standard columnist Tim Lott picked up on a leaflet sent to residents in Kensal Rise, which asked locals to name the types of trees they would like to replace decades-old poplars lining their streets. Lott quoted a council representative as saying the felling was to save money and improve the look of the area. He added: “I hope [London mayor] Ken Livingstone is watching Brent’s inspired initiative in Burrows Road. “One could get rid of the useless bloody things in streets throughout London. Come to that, the parks would be much more attractive and economic without trees and flowers stuck all over them.” A Brent representative said: “This is a removal and replacement scheme. There are a few streets that are extremely narrow and the houses go straight on to the road. Some trees are growing too close to people’s properties and there are problems with potential subsidence and the branches knocking on windows. “These new measures are to keep growth in check, and it is a good idea to replace trees with specimens more suitable to the area in terms of size. It will be financially beneficial and easier to manage. We’ve left it to the residents to come up with ideas for what types of new trees they would prefer. “There’s no question of us just ripping out trees. This is a management solution and most residents are pretty happy.” Brent Council sources most of its trees from Barchams Trees of Ely, Suffolk, and Hillier Nurseries of Romsey, Hampshire.

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